Treasure of Matecumbe 1976 7 out of 10
I've been wanting to see this movie for years. Ever since I saw the poster for it while looking up Disney films over a decade ago. I could never find it anywhere. Not at Blockbuster (back in the days when Blockbuster was a thing) Not on Netflix, Not online. Then yesterday while flipping through TCM on the TV to see if anything interesting was on I saw it and so I set the DVR for 11pm and recorded it for viewing this weekend.
Expectations: The movie poster was so cool that it captured my imagination--but the fact that the movie couldn't be found left me with very little hope of it actually being a quality movie. I mean if it had been a good Disney flick I would have assumed it to be more readily available. So my expectations for movie itself were rather low.
The movie itself: I actually enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. It was a typical family adventure movie that Disney made back in the 1960's and 1970's. Similiar in tone to the Swiss Family Robinson, Apple Dumpling Gang, The Castaways and many other Disney films. The movie was part Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and part Treasure hunt. The story follows a couple of boys in the post civil war era that find a treasure map in the families attic. They decide to go after the treasure in an effort to save the family home and are pursued by some bad guys that are also after the treasure.
WAIT: Isn't this the story of the Goonies?
The Goonies connection:
Yep Pretty much! It seems The Goonies took a lot of inspiration from this post Civil War adventure movie and just told a modern version of it with Steven Spielberg at the helm. (The Goonies is of course a better and more exciting film --but the similarities in story are no coincidence. Even the posters share some of the same aspects. The connections to the Goonies made the film more enjoyable for me as I was interested to see what else in this family adventure film may have inspired one of my favorite 80's movies. Asise from the plot itself there is a scene near the end once they find the treasure - wherre the main character (a young boy) falls through a hole into a cave with a skeleton just like Sean Astin's character in Goonies. This scene was a clearly inspiration for that encounter with One Eyed Willie.
I would recommend this if you like the old school Disney Family adventures as it features a trip down the Mississippi full of villains, a mysterious indian tribe and an exciting Hurricane scene all with the backdrop of a treasure hunt. Watch Treasure of Matecumbe as an appetizer and then follow it up with the classic 80's adventure Goonies that it inspired as the main course.
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