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I found 'Treasure of Matecumbe' just about entertaining, helped by the impressive main cast.
Peter Ustinov, after a poor showing in 1975's 'One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing', comes back strong with a top performance as Snodgrass. Joan Hackett is also enjoyable as Paxton, especially across the first act. Robert Foxworth fits in too, as he plays Uncle Jim. The two kid actors are Johnny Doran (Davie) and Billy Atmore (Thad), they aren't amazing but are at least likeable and are passable in what they give.
The plot is where it becomes less interesting. The adventure elements are decent, but it does plod along at a number of moments. It doesn't really feel like a treasure hunt until the last knockings, which is disappointing - especially given the onscreen talent. Parts of it also haven't aged gracefully, while the vibe of the film changes from serious to fun too often; e.g. you have a KKK scene, but also a runaway bride bit.
With all that noted, it is still a film I can say is good enough and one of Disney's better live-action releases from the 1970s.
A forgotten gem, Disney classic.
Treasure of Matecumbe (1976) It is not a bad film but not a great film. I think my favorite part of this film was the gamboling card scene where you have one woman gamboling with no money vs the one doing the card trick who is cheating without all of the money he was gamboling for. This is a film set in the American South with a treasure chase film set through southern America in post Civil War dealing with KKK, carpet baggers, Yankees, con artist, and Native Americans of the American South. What made this film unique is you are dealing with characters who are all in the gray. They can be deceived and they are flawed characters. This is is so different from what I am accustomed to seeing Disney making. Usually the morality of the characters tends to be not so gray. This film it it clearly gray. We even see two boys deceive the law the law and lock the sheriff in prison.
Ustinov was the only highlight for me in this one. It could've been better, but the sidetracking story could have been much cleaner. It just dragged on.
a 'sounder'/ 'old yeller' knock off
â'The Wonderful World Of Disney' was staple viewing for me as a kid. Every Sunday night without fail I would park myself on the floor in front of the tv (in my PJs) and watch every fun-filled adventure they presented. These were classic made-for-television films which were essentially cheaper alternatives to Disney's theatrical films... and now Disney are releasing a whole collection of them on DVD. I plan to buy a heap of them and I started with 'The Treasure of Matecumbe'. I suspect that The Goonies took a lot of inspiration from this movie... it's the story of a kid who finds a treasure map in his attic and embarks on an adventure with his best friend to find it so that he can save his home from foreclosure (sound familiar?). The adventure itself is a lot different, however, with the tw...o boys travelling along a river and finding themselves caught up in all kinds of trouble... they meet a stowaway, a scam artist, native indians and even the KKK. The essence of the film owes a lot to Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer stories and presents a fun couple of hours for the whole family. For me it was a nostalgic flick and a reminder of how wonderful Disney really used to be, back when family entertainment was valued so much more. When Sunday nights on television were chock-full of movies and reality tv would have sounded pointless. The Treasure Of Matecumbe is a welcome addition to my collection of films and I'm looking forward to collecting more of these...
A fun live-action Disney film with an adventurous story that feels like something out of a Mark Twain novel. I love the river setting and the steamboats. (First and only full viewing - 8/23/2010)
This is a mildly entertaining little Disney flick from the late '70s. Ultimately worthless, but it has its good moments. In post-Civil War Kentucky, two kids search for treasure.
Definitely a product of the '70s (from the music to the hair/clothing styles), and the acting was sub-par in places, but it was still a pretty good adventure flick.
Typical Disney family movie of the time. My big problem was that Matecumbe is the name of two major islands in the Florida Keys, and the movie tries to put them in the Everglades 'swamp'.