Tuesday, September 20All That Matters

Robert Newton as Long John Silver, in the 1950 Disney adaptation of “Treasure Island”. Newton is credited with popularizing the archtypical pirate accent still imitated today, which came from his own native West Country/Cornish dialect.


Robert Newton as Long John Silver, in the 1950 Disney adaptation of “Treasure Island”. Newton is credited with popularizing the archtypical pirate accent still imitated today, which came from his own native West Country/Cornish dialect.




View Reddit by MulciberTenebrasView Source

23 Comments

  • MulciberTenebras

    More clips from the film:

    He went on to reprise the role of in a 1954 Australian TV series **”The Adventures of Long John Silver”**. Followed by an unofficial film sequel (simply called **”Long John Silver”**) to the 1950 Disney version, which also came from Australia. Newton even played **Blackbeard** in a 1952 film on the pirate.

  • ArcadianDelSol

    My favorite line is when he’s trying to secure financing for a ship and is asked what collateral he can offer:

    “Why I gives ye me personal afidaveeees.”

    brilliant.

    And now for my only Long John Silver joke:

    John Silver and Master Hawkins are walking along the boardwalk when by distraction, the old pirate gets his peg leg stuck in a hole in the board walk. In frustration he yells to his young friend, “why would some fool go around this fine boardwalk drilling holes for poor old sailers like meself to get affixed into?!!”

    His young friend explains, “Those are knot holes, sir.”

    “They are SO holes!! I GOT ME PEG STUCK IN ONE!!”

    —-

    Thank you I’ll see myself out.

  • AnyNamesLeftAnymore

    I actually never knew where that particular accent was derived from, or that we sort of made it the *de facto* pirate voice based on that performance.

    But now that I think about it, that actually makes perfect sense. Now you have guys like Kevin McNally just leaning into it in modern pirate movies without so much as thinking about what voice to use.

    Good TIL.

    Also one of the best adaptions of the source material. Up there with the 1951 Christmas Carol.

  • MrMeems

    The dialect he speaks with is actually closer to how lower-class Englishmen sounded in the Golden Age of Piracy than modern London accents or whatever dialect Johnny Depp speaks.

  • 199Eight

    I got excited for a moment because I thought Disney was going to make a live action Treasure Planet. 🙁 Still, that accent’s pretty cool, I might have to watch this movie.

  • Nixplosion

    What’s brilliant about this is, it sounds so natural for him to talk that way. I mean I get his natural accent is what affords him the vocalizations he’s getting but looking at this through the lens of every follow up “pirate” performance based on this, it just leaves me in awe how he managed to craft the pirate accent by accident from just speaking.

    And YET … you can hear every mirrored performance while listening to his. It’s crazy to me.

  • AgentSauce

    Also, the kid who played Hawkins, Bobby Driscoll, was the voice actor and model for Disney’s animated Peter Pan. Lived a tragic life in the years to come.

  • Content-From-Reddit

    I just read up some biography information on Robert Newton, and I think the funniest thing is he was known for being a very hard partier and was a direct inspiration for Keith Moon. That’s a hell of a role model for you Keith, but one you certainly lived up to.

  • AnotherJasonOnReddit

    >Newton is credited with popularizing the archtypical pirate accent still imitated today]

    Sort of how like Bela Lugosi popularized a certain way for many vampires to speak onscreen for decades to come, which was his Hungary accent.

  • XyzzyPop

    The port of Bristol was quite popular during the Age of Sail, and many a sailor were from that area: the West Country. Also, in the story Treasure Island they do, in fact, sail out of Bristol.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.