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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kidnapped (1960)

Set in 18th century Scotland, a naive young man (James MacArthur) leaves his home after the death of his father to seek his rights as the heir to the House Of Shaws. But his devious uncle (John Laurie) has him kidnapped and sent off to the Americas on a ship. But he's saved by a storm at sea and a newly found friend (Peter Finch). Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson which has been filmed several times, this is the Walt Disney "boys' adventure" version. It's a rather lackluster telling of the tale, saved only by the gorgeous Scotland locations shot by Paul Beeson (TO SIR WITH LOVE). A miscast MacArthur, a wholesome all American type, is quite out of place among the British cast and his Scottish accent (unconvincing to begin with) comes and goes. Written and directed by Robert Stevenson (MARY POPPINS), the narrative is fairly faithful to the source material but there's very little thrills to be had. With Peter O'Toole, Bernard Lee, Finlay Currie and Niall MacGinnis.

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