A pirate prowls at
With a crutch underneath one arm and with a stout leather
belt hung with pistols and pow- der horns, a piratical Robert Newton, his fruity voice threat- ening and large eyes rolling, stalked the sets of "Long John Silver'" out at Pagewood Studios, N.S.W.
FILM STAR Robert Newton in the title role of Long John
Silver in the film which it being made in Australia.
THERE, where the
Treasure Island Film
Company is making "Long John Silver" in colorful CinemaScope, Mr. Newton tramped the floor of the Cask and Anchor Inn cry- ing "Come 'ere, come 'ere, you varmint" to Jim Haw- kins, played by 12-year-old Australian boy Kit Taylor.
The part of Long John Sil- ver isn't new to Mr. Newton, who took the lead in Walt
Disney's version of "Treasure
Dressed for his role in culottes, loose waistcoat, and tricorne hat, Mr. Newton balanced resignedly on his right leg, with his left tucked out of sight behind him, sus- pended in a leather harness of hooks and springs.
A special boxer s boot, black
with criss-cross white leather
lacing, has special loops on the sole which are attached to hooks. This Mr. Newton wore on his left foot.
"He's used to it," his blonde wife, Vera, told me. "When he was in 'Treasure Island' his
left leg grew quite weak through lack of use. He lost weight, too-about 12 pounds
As she spoke, her husband
extricated the unfortunate
foot from the sling and put it on the ground.
He removed the boxer's boot and slipped his foot into a navy suede moccasin, which
was worn over a modern
brown sock. The left leg will not be photographed.
The right leg and foot, which will be photographed, were covered by a bulky knitted stocking and a black boot with a fine, upstanding
English-born Mr. Newton, who now lives in Beverly Hills, near Hollywood, has come to Australia not only to make
the feature film but also to star in 26 television shorts.
Aged 49, he has been an actor since he was 14, has played in Shakespeare, Shaw, in Dickens' "Oliver Twist,"
in "Odd Man Out," "This Happy Breed," and "And- rocles and the Lion," as well as many other films.
For the past six months, in preparation for this film, he
has let his hair and beard
grow. When I saw it, it was curling around his chin and growing well down the back of
At the nape of his neck a pigtail of matching hair was attached. His round face, ex- pressively mobile, was covered with a technicolor make-up,
DRESSER DIMITRI YUSTRIZOFF attaches a pigtail to Robert Newton's shaggy hair. Mr. Yustriaoff, a make-up expert, worked with the Imperial Russian Ballet and Ger-
man UFA films before coming to Australia in 1928.
which featured a suntanned effect and a pale orange lip-
Round golden ear-rings were clipped to the lobes of
"Bobby" Newton (as he's called by fellow workers) was perfect in the setting of the
Cask and Anchor Inn.
The landlady, Purity Pin- ker (character actress Connie Gilchrist), kept him company.
The setting, designed by Australian artists Bill Con- stable and Desmonde Down- ing, had been carefully created by technicians.
New furniture had been
carefully antiqued; spun-rub- ber cobwebs hung in corners.
Old bottle-glass windows in the inn, I learned, were made from glass dessert plates bought in a chain store and stippled over with rubber and colored paint.
Genuine antiques around the set included pewter mugs
stacked on shelves and the
pistols worn by Mr. Newton. These have been lent by Major Millett, of Melbourne.
Draughtsmen and carpen- ters were working on another set, the main street of the pirate town, Porto Bello, cob- bled and overhung by beamed two-storied houses.
Though interiors are filmed at Pagewood, the company moves to Garie Beach, south of Sydney, for the exteriors.
Robert Newton, who has already been sailing in modern craft on Sydney Harbor, will see pirate vessels (made from converted barges) taking to the waters of Botany Bay.
Stand-in for Long John Silver during the making of
the film is an Australian
actor, John Eastlake, who is accustoming himself to walk- ing on one leg.
Back home in California the Newtons have left their six months-old son, Kim.
Mrs. Newton, who expects to be in Australia for at least a year with her husband, told me she was missing her baby badly.
Insignia of The Treasure Island Film Company is a white skull-and-crossbones on a black background. Even the mail sent overseas by producer Joe Kaufmann and director Byron Haskin bears these
I found on my return to town that I had been walking
around with the skull-and crossbones stuck on my black handbag.