The Treasure of Matecumbe
(1976)

Shortly after the civil war, a southern family is desperately awaiting the return of the father, with money to pay the back taxes.  They learn he was killed by Spangler (Vic Morrow), an evil Yankee carpet bagger.  The father buried a chest, with the family's gold, and sent a map to find it.  Young David, and his friend, Thad, go off in search of the treasure.  They team up with a runaway bride (Joan Hackett), a con man (Peter Ustinov) and David's long lost uncle Jim.  They are pursued by Spangler and his henchmen, the whole way down the Mississippi.  The treasure is buried in Matecumbe Key, in the Florida keys.

When Spangler's men appear to have them trapped, uncle Jim leads them off on a false trail, so the others can escape.  Jim does not return, and they assume he has been killed.  When they reach Matecumbe, Spangler captures them and takes the map.  Spangler leaves them to die, but uncle Jim shows up.  He escaped from Spangler and has been trying to catch up to them.  They gave Spangler a fake map, that the con man had drawn for just that purpose.  The good guys get the treasure.

A hurricane hits.  Snodgrass, the con man, is carried out to sea.  Spangler shows up again, realizing he has a fake map.  They promise to give up the treasure, if Spangler will let them leave unharmed.  They leave the treasure chest in an old seminole indian burial ground, then fire a few shots to alert Spangler.  As Spangler opens the chest, he and his men are captured by Seminoles.  This was all Jim's plan.  The chest is empty, they took the gold with them.  The shots were to alert the seminoles.  The Seminoles take Spangler's crew prisoner, for violating their burial ground.

Snodgrass returns, a wave had carried him out to sea, but he another wave threw him back on the beach.  Jim and the runway bride have fallen in love.  They all return to the plantation with the money to pay off the taxes.

Thanks Joseph C!