Kidnapped  [DVD]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite michaels awful scots accent, this is a great film, should have just been a cockney alan Breck!Published 3 months ago by M. Frost
Fabulous dramatization around the Jacobite Rebellion Era and Michael Caine has always been a favourite actor of mine.Published 7 months ago by stephen mcnamee