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Roddy McDowell (who was also executive producer for this film,) was the perfect David Balfour. His accent was more toward the English than the Scottish, but that can be overlooked. At McDowell's age in 1948, it was natural for him to play this role.
Having been a big fan of the original Stevenson novel, I was disappointed that they felt they had to add a "love interest." It completely changed the point of the movie. In the novel, the focus was upon the relationship between the two characters, Alan Breck and David Balfour; how they liked each other despite their severe political differences, and how they came to respect each other as well.
The addition of the girl just made it into a trite coming of age romance, with Alan Breck turning into hardly more than a colorful sidekick.
I also feel that Dan O'Herlihy played Alan Breck as an entirely too genteel a gentleman. Peter Finch captured him much more closely in the Disney film of 1960. Alan Breck was a gentleman, yes, but also a wild highlander with none of the daintiness affected by O'Herlihy.
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