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Kidnapped (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 27 May 1938 (USA)
In 1747 Jacobite Scotland young David Balfour's life is threatened by his greedy uncle who wishes to become heir to the considerable Balfour estate.


(as Alfred Werker), (uncredited)


(as Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'/The Adventures of David Balfour), (screen play) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Duke of Argyle
Arthur Hohl ...
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Dominie Campbell
Colonel Whitehead
Donald Haines ...


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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 May 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kidnapped: The Adventures of David Balfour  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When Freddie Bartholemew is walking to Edinburgh, he passes a road sign showing "Edinboro" which would be an Americanized spelling of the city. See more »


Duke of Argyle: Better to deal with one martyr than a nation of martyrs.
See more »


Version of Kidnapped (1995) See more »


The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond
(ca 1745) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish song
Played often in the soundtrack
Sung a cappella by Arleen Whelan, Warner Baxter and Freddie Bartholomew
See more »

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User Reviews

A pro-peace film, typical of the Munich spirit in 1938
16 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

A pro-peace film, typical of the Munich spirit in 1938. The movie, turn in 1938, is as far from Stevenson that Stevenson himself is -intentionally-from Walter Scott "Rob Roy" for instance.The end, with its pro-peace sentence with"love of country"etc.sounds particularly anachronistic. The plot also neglects the tower scene, which is shorted. We think of what Hitchcock could have done. The novel is such a good plot that something of it does remains in the film. But think of adding a romance in "Treasure Island"for instance..! The casting is good, particularly Freddie Bartholomew and of course Warner Baxter, although not Scottish at all. I appreciate also to find in a second-part John Carradine with his long thin face which could be so impressive in western films and also as the abominable Nazi Heydrich in "Hitler's Madman", some five years later, when the Second World War was at its climax.

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