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When Scottish young gentleman David Balfour's father dies, he leaves school to collect his inheritance from uncle Ebenezer, who in turn sells the boy as a future slave to a pirate ship. When staunch Stuart dynasty supporter Alan Breck Stewart accidentally boards the ship, he takes David along on his escape back to Edinburgh. They part and meet again repeatedly, mutually helpful against the Redcoats and respectful, although David is loyal to the English crown, but learns about its cruel oppression. Both ultimately face their adversaries. Written by
Although this version of "Kidnapped" has a lot of swashbuckling energy going for it, there are major points in its disfavor. As other commentators have written, it adds in all sorts of needless superfluous plots that weaken Stevenson's tale. The army office Reid did not appear in RLS's novel, nor did Flora McDonald, nor did the girl with whom Davie falls in love. Yes, David Balfour does fall in love in Stevenson's sequel "Catriona," but with a different girl.
In addition, Ireland does *not* look like Scotland. Nor does Armande Assante, for all his swashbuckling, look like RLS's description of Alan Breck, which was based upon historical fact. True, the movie is beautifully photographed, and the few portions that do homage to Stevenson's novel are well done. But in many respects, this film owes rather little to that novel.
The only film version that respects the novel is the Walt Disney version. That one is not yet available on DVD. Go figure.
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