work of Algernon Newton recognized at Bond Sreet Exhibit
From now until December 21, 2012, the artwork of Robert
Newton's father is being showcased in a rare London exhibit entitled
"The Peculiarity of Algernon Newton." According to the gallery's
website, "The exhibition will feature sixteen paintings by this
underappreciated artist, and is accompanied by a catalogue with an
essay by Andrew Graham-Dixon. ..." For more details on the exhibit,
as well as more information on Algernon Newton himself and sample
images, click here.
Location: Daniel Katz
Gallery, 13 Old Bond Street, London W1, Phone: 020 7493 0688.
(December 6, 2012)
Newton's Disney Legends Plaque
Many thanks to long-time fan Steve Bingen for sharing
the following photos from his recent visit to Disney Studios in Los
Worldwide is now the exclusive licensing agent for Robert Newton.
Please contact them via the
form at the bottom of this page for business inquiries into licensing
opportunities. For communication regarding this website, however,
please click here to send me an e-mail
as usual. Note: due to some temporary upheavals in my personal life,
my trusted friend and fellow Robert Newton fan/expert Sue Gantz will
be assisting me in responding to e-mail regarding the website. So
if you receive a response from her, please feel free to communicate
directly with her as you would with me. (5/26/10)
Robert Newton Biography?
In response to a frequently-asked question, there is
no published biography of Robert Newton at this time that I or his
family are aware of. However, I hope to rectify this situation eventually
and am currently at work on one myself. If you have any information
about Robert Newton that you'd like to contribute to such a biography,
I would be very grateful and, if I use the material, will gladly credit
you in the book. Click here to send me
an e-mail; please wait to to receive a reply from me or my assistant
Sue Gantz before sending any files or attachments. (10/12/09)
Newton on Facebook
now has a fan
page for Robert Newton, and the social network's interface is
now available in "English (Pirate)" featuring copious "arr"s
and lots of pirate jargon. (To change your preferred language, scroll
to the very bottom of the Facebook page and click the language link
in the far left corner next to the "Facebook ©" notice—or
choose "Language" under "Settings.") Be forewarned,
the terminology may prove a challenge for those who are not well-versed
in nautical-speak and the 18th-century English of Stevenson's Treasure
Island, so study
up, me hearties! (10/12/09)
Newton article in Pirates magazine
June 15, 2007: The spring issue of Pirates
magazine hit newsstands on May 30 and includes a 10-page
article on Robert Newton penned by your humble webmaster, including
full-page glossy photos plus exclusive photos contributed by Kim Newton.
Get your copy today! (Available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and
Waldenbooks or via subscription.)
June 29, 2007: A couple of corrections to that will
appear in the next issue: The photo on page 36 from The Beachcomber
was provided by Susan Gantz. (And just to clarify, the rights to all
photos provided by Susan Gantz and Susan Ciriello are reserved by
their respective copyright holders, not by us!) Also, Long John Silver's
ship is accidentally referred to as "The Fancy."
Here's a quick quiz: Do you know the correct name of the ship (from
the TV series The Adventures of Long John Silver)?
Miserables now available on DVD
May 17, 2007: The 1952 version of Les Miserables
with Robert Newton as Javert was released on April 24. Sue Gantz reports:
"The two-feature DVD is 20th Century Fox Cinema Classics Collection
and contains the 1935 and 1952 versions of Les Miserables. The 1935
production stars Frederic March as Valjean, Charles Laughton as Javert
and Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Rochelle Hudson, Frances Drake and John
Beal. The 1952 production stars Michael Rennie as Valjean, Robert
Newton as Javert and Debra Paget, Edmund Gwenn, Sylvia Sidney, Cameron
Mitchell, and Elsa Lanchester. Both movies have been restored and
contain a restoration comparison under 'Special Features.' They both
have a still gallery that contains stills from both the movies and
behind the scenes, and there is a featurette called 'The Fugitive
and the Pursuer: Vidocq' (this was an 18th-century French crook-turned-cop
in which Victor Hugo based both his main characters in the novel of
Valjean and Javert). The DVD case also included four still cards (3
from 1935 and 1 from 1952). It is selling for $15.99 at Movies Unlimited
but I'm sure that you can get it cheaper if you seach around at other
sources." Other possible online sources are Critics' Choice and
Deep Discount DVD.
visit to the Mariners' Museum
November 17, 2006: This past Monday, I had the opportunity
to visit the Mariners' Museum and explore the Swashbuckler:
The Romance of the Pirate exhibit first-hand. Click here
for a report and photos from my visit. The exhibit was originally
scheduled to run at least through December, and possibly through next
July; however, I was informed by Assistant Curator Marc Nucup that
it will definitely be ending in March to make way for another exhibit,
so if you're planning to go, don't put it off!
John Silver is Number One
July 15, 2006: A Sunday, July 2, top-ten countdown
in Newsday by Frank Lovece names Long John Silver, as portrayed
by Robert Newton, the "No. 1 pop-culture pirate"! The article
calls him "a pirate's piratethe archetype for all who came
after. The complex antagonist and father-figure of Robert Louis Stevenson's
1883 children's novel Treasure Island has nearly all the accoutrements
we associate with pirates today: The wooden 'peg leg,' a crude prosthetic
of the time. A buried treasure chest. The pirate's parrot. Even the
stereotypical pirate sea shanty, 'Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum.' Everything
but the eye patch and the hook. And you know how pirates growl 'Yarrrr?'
That originated with British actor Robert Newtonhonored every
September 19 on International Talk Like a Pirate Dayas
Long John Silver in the Disney film Treasure Island (1950).
Not to mention he ended up getting a fast-food chain named for him!
(Incidentally, the first verse to the "stereotypical
pirate sea shanty, 'Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum'" was originally
written by Robert Louis Stevenson and allegedly refers to a tale about
Blackbeard. Young E. Allison wrote additional lyrics in 1891,
titling it "The Derelict," and in 1901 Henry Waller added
the tune for the Broadway musical version of Treasure Island.
Read the complete lyrics [warning: they're a bit gory!] and story
behind them here.
And you can hear the original melody here.
Also, not to detract from Mr. Lovece's excellent choice for the top
spot, of courseand his acknowledgement of the originator of
the pirate growl!but as we know from seeing Robert Newton in
the movie, technically, Long John Silver did not have a peg leg; rather
he used a crutch since, according to the novel, "His left leg
was cut off close by the hip.")
Thanks to Lorraine Crennan for sharing this article!
June 30, 2006: More good news for pirate history buffs:
On Sunday, July 9, 2006, the History Channel will premiere a
new documentary called True Caribbean Pirates. Here's the official
"Some of the best-known pirate stories and clichés
are little more than fantasy. True Caribbean Pirates separates
fact from fiction as two centuries of pirate history and lore is condensed
into the exciting two-hour summer experience. True Caribbean Pirates
presents the thrilling yet historically accurate tales of the worlds
greatest pirate adventures. Journey aboard the vessels of Captain
Henry Morgan the wealthy pirate pioneer, the fearsome Edward 'Blackbeard'
Teach, 'Calico Jack' Rackam and the first and most famous female pirates
Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and witness the end of the golden age of
piracy with historys most successful pirate, Bartholomew 'Black
Bart' Roberts. The blood stained history of piracy springs to life
on screen with the help of state of the art CGI and reenactments in
exotic locales, archival imagery and artifacts. Interviews are provided
by some of the worlds foremost pirate scholars, which help viewers
understand the dark nature of the pirates life. True Caribbean
Pirates succeeds in humanizing these larger-than-life pirate legends,
and showing the tolls of being a cutthroat."
Newton at the Mariners' Museum
June 30, 2006: Coinciding with the U.S. premiere of
the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a pirate exhibit including
photos of Robert Newton and other Hollywood swashbucklers opens Friday,
July 7, 2006, at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia,
and is scheduled to run through March of 2007 [updated November 17,
2006]. Here's the official press release:
Mariners' Museum's special exhibition
Swashbuckler: The Romance of the Pirate
offers high-stakes exploration of the appeal of pirates
Newport News, Va.Arrgg . . . !
Just in time for summer, me matey. Let out your inner pirate for a
high-seas adventure at The Mariners' Museum's latest special exhibition,
The Romance of the Pirate, opening July 7. Using period
artifacts and images juxtaposed with famous actors, movies and costumesthis
exhibition offers a unique view of how film and literature forever
changed the appeal of the men and women who plundered the high seas.
"The term 'swashbuckler' is associated with
the genre of literature and action film that details the larger-than-life
adventures of sword-wielding heroes," said Mariners' Museum Assistant
Curator, Marc Nucup. "This exhibition takes a fun approach contrasting
the life of a real pirate with that of a swashbuckler. Kids will enjoy
the pirate clothes, the opportunity to act in front of a camera, create
their own pirate flag and break a pirate's code for treasure."
A secret pirate's code is hidden throughout the
exhibition text. By deciphering the hidden message visitors will receive
pirate's bootybut only if you can get it right.
From the very beginning, visitors to Swashbuckler
will enjoy the environmental feel and flow of the exhibition. Upon
entering, a larger than life-size book introduces the romantic image
of the pirate. Early books portrayed real but embellished accounts
but later books such as Treasure Island and Peter Pan
were fictional accounts that helped romanticize the image of the pirate.
A theater marquee and movie posters from the early
20th century lead visitors to learn the three elements to a swashbuckling
film: swordplay, setting and stars. Photographs of scenes from movies
such as Hook, 1997; The Spanish Main, 1945; and The
Black Pirate, 1926 show famous actors displaying a daring display
of swordplay. Visitors will then have a chance to see the real tools
of the piracy tradea cup-hilt sword, wrapped wire-hilt knife,
matchlock musket and more.
The exhibition offers young visitors, and adults
still kids at heart, an opportunity to try their skills at being a
swashbuckling star. A camera focused center stage of a pirate ship
set, allows imaginations to soar as visitors are encouraged to let
out their inner pirate.
"Two of the interesting aspects of the exhibition
are the contrast of pirate clothing vs. a costume as well as the realities
of real pirate's treasure," Nucup added. "Treasure chests
filled to the hilt with gold coins, cups and jewels were definitely
not the norm. So, on our own recreated desert island, we've placed
a chest filled with the treasure that pirates wanted next to a chest
filled with the items pirates frequently got-rope, tobacco, tools
The section"Fame and Infamy"explicitly
shows the difference between a swashbuckler and a real pirate. This
section compares and contrasts the fictionalized character with the
real-life sea rover. Life-size cutouts of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol
Flynn stand next to infamous pirates such as Blackbeard and Ann Bonny
revealing a significant difference in demeanor.
Other hands-on activities in Swashbuckler
let visitors try their hand at making a pirate flag or pirate hat.
After learning various pirates' symbols and what they mean, a sketching
station offers an opportunity to make a pirate flag or shape your
own hat to take on a high seas adventure.
"While much of the exhibition focuses on historical
pirates and Hollywood actors, we have to mention pirates still exist
today," said Nucup. Using an AK-47 assault rifle, laptop computer
and cell phone, the exhibition reveals the new weapons of today's
pirates. A press release sent by the Seabourn Cruise Line regarding
the 2005 attack also shows ocean targets are still considered perfect
attacking ground for pirates.
Swashbuckler: The Romance of the Pirate is sponsored
by Newport News Shipbuilding Employees Credit Union, Car-Robics Auto
Wash, Hauser's Jewelers and Comfort Suites. This exhibition is on
display through 2006 and is included with Museum admission.
The Mariners' Museum, an educational,
non-profit institution accredited by the American Association of Museums,
preserves and interprets maritime history through an international
collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime
artifacts. The Museum is open Monday - Saturday, 10 A.M. until
5 P.M., and Sunday, 12 to 5 P.M. Closed Thanksgiving Day
and Christmas Day. For information, call (757) 596-2222 or (800) 581-7245,
or write to The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News,
VA 23606. The Museum can be reached on the World Wide Web at www.mariner.org.
Directions: The Mariners' Museum
is located between Colonial Williamsburg and Hampton/Norfolk/Virginia
Beach. From Interstate 64, take Exit 258A. Proceed 2.5 miles to the
intersection of J. Clyde Morris and Warwick boulevards. Cross Warwick
Blvd. and take your first left onto Museum Dr. The Museum entrance
is straight ahead. Museum admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children
(ages six to seventeen). Group rates are available for parties of
10 or more. Mariners' Museum members receive free admission.
The Mariners' Museum and The South
Street Seaport Museum of New York City are partners in America's National
Maritime Museum, an innovative alliance recognized by an act of Congress
in June 1998 to share collections, exhibitions, educational programs,
publications, and other endeavors.
Newton's 100th Birthday Celebration
June 15, 2005: The town of Shaftesbury,
Dorset, celebrated June 1, 2005, Robert Newton's 100th birthday,
with the unveiling of a plaque on the house where he was born. See
photos and press release below for more details.
|Neighbors Janie Locke and Bill Brumage unveil
the plaque on the house in Victoria Street, Shaftesbury, where
film star Robert Newton was born in 1905. (Click on image to view
A Plaque for Robert Newtonand
Funds for the Arts Centre
Wednesday 1 June 2005: Shaftesbury today (1 June)
celebrated the birth of arguably its most famous son, the film and
stage actor Robert Newton, with the unveiling of a "blue plaque"
in his memory on the house in Victoria Street where it is believed
he was born exactly 100 years ago.
The present residents of "Iona," now two
separate houses, are the ceramic artist Janie Locke and retired businessman
Bill Brumage who came together to celebrate the unveiling on Newton's
Newton, most famous for his portrayal of the archetypal
pirate Long John Silver in the famous 1950 Disney film 'Treasure Island',
died in 1956 at just 50 after a long battle with alcoholism.
A special screening yesterday (May 31) of Treasure
Island at Shaftesbury Arts Centre raised nearly £250 for arts
centre funds. The screening included recorded readings by Newton of
love poems by 17th century poets on a CD donated by Newton's son Nicholas,
a film producer living in France. Both CD and a DVD of the film were
raffled off at the end of the evening.