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The Little Kidnappers (1953)

The Kidnappers (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Family, Romance | 1954 (Austria)
A Scotsman, Jim MacKenzie, living on a primitive homestead in Nova Scotia, is raising his two grandsons, Harry and Davy, following the death of their father in the Boer War. His son's death... See full summary »


Philip Leacock


Neil Paterson (screenplay)
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Duncan Macrae ... Jim MacKenzie, Granddaddy
Jean Anderson ... Grandma MacKenzie
Adrienne Corri ... Kirsty
Theodore Bikel ... Dr. Willem Bloem
Jon Whiteley ... Harry, Jim's Grandson
Vincent Winter ... Davy - Jim's Grandson
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Jan Hooft Sr.
James Sutherland James Sutherland ... Arron McNab
John Rae John Rae ... Andrew McCleod
Jack Stewart Jack Stewart ... Dominie
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... Tom Cameron
Eric Woodburn Eric Woodburn ... Sam Howie
Christopher Beeny ... Jan Hooft Jr.
Howard Connell Howard Connell ... Archibald Jenkins


A Scotsman, Jim MacKenzie, living on a primitive homestead in Nova Scotia, is raising his two grandsons, Harry and Davy, following the death of their father in the Boer War. His son's death has developed antagonism by MacKenzie toward all Dutchmen, which leads to Harry brawling at school with the son of a Dutchman. Harry falls down a cliff and is helped home by the community doctor, Willem Bloem, a Dutchman in love with MacKenzie's daughter, Kirsty. Due to the old man's feelings, they must carry on a clandestine romance. Forbidden by their grandfather to have a dog, Harry and Davy "kidnap" an unattended baby and care for the child in a lean-to shack. When found, the baby proves to be the child of MacKenzie's most-bitter Dutch enemy. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | shack | school | enemy | dutch | See All (40) »


They'll Steal Their Way Right Into Your Hearts See more »


Drama | Family | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to an article in Picture Show magazine dated 20 February 1954, the baby girl was played by Anthony Michael Heathcoat. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Davy - Jim's Grandson: Are we going to keep it forever?
Harry, Jim's Grandson: I don't know... We'll keep it for a year or two anyways, until it's got a mind of its own - and then, if it wants to hit the trail, there won't be no stopping it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two DVD versions of The Little Kidnappers, were compared side-by-side, one from Echo Bridge (10 Movie Adventure Pack, Vol.3; ©2013 on disc; 1:29:30 disc player runtime) and one from Feature Films for Families (The Little Kidnappers; ©2009 Rekab Sudskany on disc; 1:27:24 disc player runtime). There was actually a 2:04 difference in length: Echo Bridge has two seconds of black screen before the movie starts while FFFF does not. Disc times (h:mm:ss) in the following are from the Echo Bridge version. Nine differences were observed -- two were soundtrack only without frame cuts. (1) [0:00 cut] At 0:12:30 the framed picture of a crest is shown on a wall while Harry says "The crest of the clan Mackenzie, a hill of blazin' fire", after which the shot cuts to Harry. In the FFFF version the words "a hill" have been removed from the soundtrack but no frames were cut. With the accent Harry uses, the word "hill" sounds like "hell". (2) [0:04 cut] From 0:22:12 to 0:22:16, Jim tells Hans Hooft "The hill belongs to me, James Mackenzie." Starting at 0:22:16, FFFF cut 0:04 where Jim says "If you so much as cast your shadow on it, Boer, there'll be blood." (3) [0:13 cut] The schoolmaster breaks up a fight between Harry and Jan Hooft in the schoolyard and insists the boys "shake hands and that'll be the end of it", but Harry repeatedly refuses. Starting at 0:27:26, FFFF cut 0:13 where the schoolmaster says "You willing to oppose my will, boy? [pause] If you persist in this pigheadedness I've no choice but to strap you." (4) [1:15 cut] After shooting his rifle at movement on the hill and then being told it was Harry, Jim sends Harry to the woodshed and follows him with the shaving strap. Starting at 0:42:13 FFFF cut 1:15 where Kirsten and her mother agonize over Jim's treatment of Harry while hearing him being strapped -- the cut ends at the start of the wedding scene at 0:43:28. (5) [0:00 cut] When Harry sneaks out of bed to care for the baby overnight and Davey warns him Grandpa is coming out, at 0:53:52 Davey says "That was a close one" and Harry replies "Sure was, now shut up and go back to bed." In the FFFF version, the words "now shut up and" have been removed from the soundtrack, but no frames have been cut. (6) [0:18 cut] When Kirsten and Dr. Hooft stop at the MacNeill's, FFFF cut 0:18, the shot of Mrs. MacNeill using an incantation to cure her husband from 0:54:18 to 0:54:36 which included Dr. Hooft knocking on the door. (7) [0:02 cut] In the shot beginning at 1:00:26 showing Kirsten approaching her father in front of the house as Kirsten says "Yes, father" and Jim says "Where in God's name have you been girl?", FFFF cut 0:02 of frames at the beginning of the shot, cut "in God's name" from the soundtrack, and put the cut shot and cut soundtrack back together so Jim is now saying "Where have you been girl?" (8) [0:01 cut] In the court scene shot from 1:22:17 to 1:22:21, Jim rises up and says "You send him away, Tom, I'll kill ya." FFFF cut about 0:01 off the end of this shot (and soundtrack) so Jim says "You send him away, Tom." (9) [0:06 cut] FFFF also cut 0:06 by cutting the shots from 1:22:26 to 1:22:30 where Jim says "Shut up, you scribbling Pharisee" as well as the schoolmaster's facial reaction 1:22:30 to 1:22:32. See more »


Remade as Little Kidnappers (1990) See more »

User Reviews

Fond memories
10 July 2006 | by gordiepearsonSee all my reviews

I also remember this film with great fondness after watching with my grandmother many years ago ,the conversation between the older boy Harry and the young lad still brings a smile to my face.."Is this oor babee Harry..?" answer - "No its mine but you can share it". I would love to see this heartwarming film again,the memory of the Grandfather giving the children the two red setter dogs at the end still brings a lump to my throat...I would make this film compulsory viewing and would my love children to see this wonderful tale,I suppose really it could be classed as a feel good film and the atmosphere the film provides showing the rural struggles of Scotland at that time makes it almost Dickensian..tremendos film hope its not lost forever.

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Release Date:

1954 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Kidnappers See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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