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In the late eighteenth century David Balfour's evil uncle arranges for him to be kidnapped and sent to sea where he meets exiled Breck. The two make their way back to Scotland and justice. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Otto Preminger was fired and replaced by Alfred L. Werker after 20th Century-Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck complained that he hadn't followed the script while directing a scene with Freddie Bartholomew and a dog. Although Preminger at first tried to remain calm, insisting that he had followed the script, Zanuck continued to argue with him until Preminger launched into a screaming tirade at him and stormed out of the screening room. The next day Preminger returned to Fox to find the lock on his office changed and his name taken off the door, and his parking space moved to a faraway location on the lot. Although he still had 11 months in his two-year contract, Preminger soon left Fox. See more »
The story takes place in 1747, but Arleen Whelan's hair style is strictly 1938. See more »
In 1747 Scotland, rebellious Warner Baxter (as Alan Breck) leads his men against British rule and becomes an outlawed traitor. Meanwhile, young teenager Freddie Bartholomew (a David Balfour) is at school when he learns his long-absent father has died and left him a letter to deliver to wealthy uncle Miles Mander (as Ebenezer Balfour). On the way to his castle, young Bartholomew witnesses an assassination. Because he knows the assassin's identity, Bartholomew is kidnapped by Mr. Baxter. For another reason, Bartholomew is pursued by Mr. Mander. Danger and adventure continue in earnest...
Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson, but significantly altered to play up Baxter's character and his romance with pretty newcomer Arleen Whelan (as Jean MacDonald). Although it's not the first or last time an older star was paired with a much younger mate, it appears ill-fitting here. The script helps, a least, by acknowledging Ms. Whelan's youthful appearance, when she pretends to be Bartholomew's mother. Otherwise, this is an excellently produced adventure story. The scenes involving Bartholomew and Mander are especially well staged. "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond" will have you humming.
******* Kidnapped, The Adventures of David Balfour (5/27/38) Alfred L. Werker ~ Freddie Bartholomew, Warner Baxter, Arleen Whelan, Miles Mander
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