Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
A hugely underrated elegiac adventure
on 29 April 2007
Delbert Mann's hugely underrated 1971 version of Kidnapped takes a more fatalistic approach to the story than might be expected. Rather than opt for easy swashbuckling, Alan Breck is here a man in constant denial as he travels through a defeated landscape rife with disillusion in the wake of the Battle of Culloden, while David Balfour is trying to make sense of a world where those who are supposed to be on his side are far less honourable than those supposed to be his enemies.
Blessed with a superb script by Jack Pullman (with some elegantly witty dialogue), a beautiful score by Roy Budd and a wonderful use of location that really comes alive in widescreen, it also works as a pretty good adventure movie, and if Michael Caine is phenomenally miscast as the Jacobite rebel he makes a surprisingly good job of it, as do most of the impressive supporting cast. Only Freddie Jones in a typical display of stilted ham lets the side down. The film was a famously troubled production, with many of the cast and crew reportedly unpaid, but thankfully shows few signs of it on the screen.
Network's new impressive 2.35:1 widescreen release keeps the trailer and original featurette from the previous Carlton release and also adds a trio of unrelated Michael Caine interviews (two with Russell Harty and one with Gloria Hunniford) as well. Recommended - but be warned that the DVD menu is absurdly awkward to navigate.