HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  Kidnapped The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels
Year: 1971
Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Michael Caine, Lawrence Douglas, Vivien Heilbron, Trevor Howard, Jack Hawkins, Donald Pleasence, Gordon Jackson, Freddie Jones, Jack Watson, Peter Jeffrey, Roger Booth, Geoffrey Whitehead, Andrew McCulloch, Claire Nielson, John Hughes, Russell Waters
Genre: Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The battle of Culloden is fresh in the minds of the Scottish people as the English forces combined with the local Campbells put down the Jacobite rebellion instigated by Bonnie Prince Charlie, who believed himself to be the rightful heir to the throne and not King George. However, his campaign was none too well managed, and has led to the deaths of many, a state of affairs that is still continuing in fits and starts as the rebels refuse to give up their cause. Young David Balfour (Lawrence Douglas) has been making his way to Edinburgh now his parents have died so he may join his uncle, Ebenezer (Donald Pleasence), who he is to stay with, but after picking his way through a countryside fraught with Redcoats and their enemies, he does not get the welcome he would have liked...

There have been umpteen versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped, a popular choice for film and television alike thanks to its involving tale of historical adventure which deftly mixed real life incident with his fiction. If done right, it can be presented with a romantic sweep that can carry the audience along, but this 1971 adaptation was lost in the cinematic landscapes of its era, not helped by a troubled production that saw the money run out when it came to actually paying the cast. There had been high hopes for it, a mixture of swashbuckling action and ruminations on lost political causes that would appeal to both the heart and the head, yet in effect potential viewers just were not that interested.

However, television has been the saviour of many a movie, and so it was that this incarnation of David Balfour's trials and tribulations became a regular fixture on the small screen, though rarely in a print that showed off director Delbert Mann's understanding of the power of the Scottish countryside with his widescreen compositions. Nevertheless, it picked up its fans, some of whom still nursed issues with the casting or the changes from the book (two books, in fact, as Stevenson's sequel Catriona was partly brought in to flesh out the plot). Michael Caine was the biggest star here, commencing a decade that saw him appear in productions of widely varying effectiveness, but managing to be dashing and delivering lines in a creditable Scottish accent.

Mind you, asking him to pronounce the word "loch" revealed him as the Sassenach he was, but it was important to the story, for Caine's Alan Breck, a proud Stuart as well as a proud Scot, has a deep love for his country and wishes to see Prince Charlie on the throne at any cost. That was the crux, as in spite of the turmoil he and his fellow supporters have created for the nation, he cannot see this as anything but his patriotic duty, and the implication was that they had been the cause of many unnecessary deaths and miseries when the political climate was changing in ways they could not comprehend, being so stuck in historical grounding that they were blind to the evolution happening either with them or without them. The Redcoats were not let off the hook by any means, they killed a lot of people too, yet the blame was on rebels like Alan.

What did Alan have to do with David? They meet on a sailing ship after Ebenezer sees to it that when his attempt to murder his nephew fails, the young man is clonked over the head and dispatched to join the crew much against his wishes. Breck is met by the Captain (Jack Hawkins) with a view to a business deal, but if he treats David this way then Alan doesn't have much hope, so they team up and the ship is wrecked on the rocks, allowing the two of them to escape, agreeing that they can be beneficial to each other. Along the way back to Edinburgh they stop off at Alan's relations' house, where James (Jack Watson) accuses him of allowing his patriotism to cloud his mind, there is an argument and the next day James is both shot and framed for the murder of one of the Campbells, leading Alan, David and James' daughter Catriona (Vivien Heilbron, like Douglas a performer who failed to capitalise on their "introducing" credit though television beckoned) to flee. For a film that was superficially about action and adventure, Kidnapped wanted to make its audience think as well, and if it was an uneasy mix at times it did make interesting points and looked splendid. Music by Roy Budd, with Mary Hopkin singing the charming end theme.

[Network's DVD as part of The British Film line has a restored print that much improves on previous TV broadcasts, and carries the extras over from their previous DVD release: a trailer, a vintage featurette, three interviews with Caine and a gallery. All in all a great package.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2035 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: