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When young David Balfour arrives at his uncle's to claim his inheritance, his relative tries to murder him, then has him shipped off to be sold as a slave in the colonies. Luckily for the lad, he strikes up a friendship.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
If you're a Robert Louis Stevenson purist you will probably not find this version of Kidnapped to your liking. I've not seen yet the version with Roddy McDowall from 1948, but the Disney version with James MacArthur and Peter Finch sticks far closer to what Stevenson wrote.
Not that Freddie Bartholomew is bad as young Balfour the heir who gets hijacked rather than kidnapped, a scheme to deprive him of a Scottish title by his miserly uncle played by Miles Mander. In the book and in the Disney film, Balfour's story is the plot of the film. In this version we get far more of Scottish politics as they were in 1747.
The character of Balfour's grownup savior Alan Breck is built up and a whole plot involving a romance with a Scottish lass played by Arleen Whelan is given equal time with the Balfour predicament. Warner Baxter is cast as Alan Breck and this must have only happened because Darryl Zanuck had Tyrone Power and Don Ameche working on other projects. Power would really have brought a verve to the role that Baxter just didn't have. Not unlike The Prince And The Pauper where Errol Flynn is the dashing Miles Hendon saving the young king Edward VI. And in that film Flynn while top billed did not have his character built up to take away from the main story.
Kidnapped is not a bad film, but the Disney version is much better.
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