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Kidnapped [1971] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Lawrence Douglas, Vivien Heilbron, Jack Hawkins
  • Directors: Delbert Mann
  • Writers: Jack Pulman, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Producers: Frederick H. Brogger, Hugh Attwooll, James Franciscus
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan. 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LXH3CY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,176 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Delbert Mann's adaptation of the R.L. Stevenson novel, set during the 18th century, sticks close to the text. David Balfour (Lawrence Douglas) is a recently orphaned young man from a tiny Highland village and the true heir to the title of Master of the Shaws. His uncle Ebenezer (Donald Pleasance) has designs on the title so hires Captain Hosean (Jack Hawkins) to dispose of his nephew. However, David is rescued by rebel Alan Breck (Michael Caine), who is fighting for Scotland's independence from the English; but after several escapades Alan realises that his fight is doomed, whereas David manages to foil his uncle's evil plans.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 April 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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This obscure cinematic adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kindapped' is one of my favorite movies of all time. I first watched it at school when I was ten years old. I barely understood any of it, but the complex relationship between its leading characters and the haunting ending left a strong impression on me. Over fifteen years later,I suddenly remembered it, and set out to watch every version of 'Kidnapped' I could find. I was shocked to discover that the classic ending was completely different. I read the book and was shocked again. Having long forgotten that this version stars Michael Caine, it took me a long time to track it down. I had to order it from Britain and find a multi-standard DVD player to watch it on. When I did, its effect on me was even more powerful than the first time I saw it. Although 'Kidnapped' was a great book, Jack Pullman and Delbert Mann took it to a whole new level with this, turning an adventure story into a beautiful tragedy reminiscent of 'Things Fall Apart.'This version's ending is what really makes it special. No matter how many times I see it, it always stirs great sadness in me, even if I'm 100% aware that I'm just watching actor pretending to be escorted to his death. It just speaks to the capacity of high art to move beyond emotional manipulation through identification with fictional characters and invoke sadness toward a universal tragedy. It reminds me of the catharsis of Ancient Greek plays; those stories were never really just about the death of a person who never even existed.

But still, even though it sounds like I'm worshiping this movie, I don't honestly think it's PERFECT. You can tell the production was rushed and had all kinds of problems.
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Format: DVD
I spent two weeks last summer in Scotland, and went to all the places that figure prominently in this film: Culloden Moor, Edinburgh Castle, Ediburgh Old Town, saw the picturesque wild landscapes, and learnt about the story of the Jacobite rising of 1745 and of its defeat that is the setting for the film. Everything in the reconstruction is right, including the accents of the actors, the clothes, uniforms, weapons, as well as the atmosphere of the times, and these were sad and brutal times for Scotland.

The story, set in this background, is one of a young man, David Balfour, who comes to claim his inheritance from his uncle after his father's death. The uncle first tries to kill him and then sells him to the captain of a ship bound for America, the Carolinas more precisely, to be sold there as an indentured servant. Through a chance meeting with Alan Berk Stewart, a Jacobite gentleman fleeing from the defeat at Culloden, he manages to escape and land ashore. He then follows Berk as he tries to join other Jacobites who might help him to leave for France.

Our young hero, a very idealistic Scottish lowlander who fate decides should be friend of Jacobite rebels, finally manages to reclaim his inheritance and also to find love. All the while being caught in the middle of this Civil War. It is fought between the English red-coated army supported by Scottish lowlanders and the Highland clansmen. They support two different branches of the royal family claiming the combined thrones of England and Scotland, i.e. on the one hand the "legitimate" but absolutist Stewart heirs, of Scottish origin, or Jacobites ( after James II, expelled from the throne in 1688), against the Hanoverian or German princes chosen and backed by the English parliament.
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This isn't a patch on the 1980 David McCallum TV series, but it's still enjoyable.
The dialogue is excellent ("No more blood should stain the heather") and is perhaps the film's best feature.
Michael Caine may not have the most convincing Scottish accent, but he makes a good Allan Breck, while Gordon Jackson is fairly good as a comic Charles Stewart, and Trevor Howard is magnificent as Prestongrange, but David and Catriona need more umph!
The plot has had the most shocking liberties taken with it, while Catriona is no longer a McGregor but an Appin Stewart, but none of this detracts from what is basically an enjoyable adaptation of two great novels in only an hour and fifty minutes.
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