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The Ransom of Red Chief (1998)

Two hobos strike on a get-rich quick scheme to kidnap an overly-energetic nine-year-old son of a local banker. Based on the classic story by O'Henry.


Bob Clark


O. Henry (short story), Ed Naha (teleplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lloyd ... Sam Howard
Michael Jeter ... Bill Driscoll
Alan Ruck ... Ambrose Dorset
Kaitlin Hopkins ... Agnes Dorset
Brent Hinkley ... Deputy Muldoon
Richard Riehle ... Narrator / Sheriff 'T-Bone' Yankum
Sue Bugden Sue Bugden ... Miss Dupa
Richard Moll ... Filthy McNasty
Brad Greenquist ... Strange Pierre
Haley Joel Osment ... Andy Dorset
Nancy Lenehan ... Temperance Lady 1 (as Nancy Linehan Charles)
Mary Linda Phillips ... Temperance Lady 2 (as Linda Phillips)
Nicole Kranidas Nicole Kranidas ... Temperance Lady 3
Al Mancini ... Assayer
Robert Dickman ... Second Town Man 1


Two hobos strike on a get-rich quick scheme to kidnap an overly-energetic nine-year-old son of a local banker. Based on the classic story by O'Henry.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western


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Release Date:

16 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Entführung von Häuptling Rothaut See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hallmark Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Okay, I guess?
29 August 2004 | by BadWebDiverSee all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Christopher Lloyd, and I really love the original short story of this. But I'm not a really huge fan of this version (though I don't exactly hate it either).

Christopher is very good in this (and it is the sort of role that seems tailor-made for him). Alan Ruck makes a pretty good job with the small role of the thankless father. And Haley does show a lot of personality and charisma as the main kid, even if he is a bit too "soft and nice". (I swear I saw a version with Alex Linz in the role - who is a lot more inheritantly mischevous. Maybe I just imagined it).

What I don't like about this is that fact that a lot of the broad wit of the original story has been severely toned down and "cutsified". I half-suspect it's because of the mid-90s era, the time of PC and everyone in America is expected to to be gushingly sweet to each other, and nothing bad or mean should ever be shown of tv, or that sort of thing. The whole while feels really tame (and cheap), and really lacks the dynamic punch that made the original story so good.

It's alright as a cutsey family film for undiscerning kids, but it could have been a lot funnier and more "rascally".

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