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Kidnapped (1960)

Appearing as David Balfour

Synopsis from the Disney Pressbook:

Following the death of his father, orphaned 17-year-old David Balfour (James MacArthur) decides to leave home. His minister, Mr. Campbell (Oliver Johnston), advises him to visit his Uncle Ebenezer, laird of the estate known as the House of Shaws. The minister also gives him a letter for Ebenezer, penned by David’s father.

David receives a cold welcome from Ebenezer (John Laurie), and he understands why when he learns that his father was the eldest brother and therefore David is rightful heir to the estate. When Ebenezer’s plan to murder David fails, the boy demands that his uncle accompany him to Lawyer Rankeillor (Miles Matheson), to discuss turning the estate over to David.

Before they can meet with Rankeillor, Ebenezer makes a secret deal with a rascally sea captain, Hoseason (Bernard Lee), to have the boy kidnapped aboard his brig, the Covenant, and taken to the Carolinas to be sold as a slave.

At sea off Scotland, the brig rams a fishing boat. The only survivor is Alan Brock Stewart (Peter Finch), a notorious Jacobite who was trying to escape King George’s Redcoats. Hoseason agrees to put him ashore in Scotland for thirty guineas. Greed gets the better of Hoseason, however, and he schemes with his villainous first mate, Shuan (Niall MacGinnis), to overpower Breck and rob him. They seek David’s help, but the youth warns the Jacobite and, in a fight against the ship’s crew, the pair are victorious. Shuan and some of the crew are slain and Hoseason is injured in a pitched battle with pistol, claymore and dirk.

During a tremendous storm the brig is smashed on a reef. David swims to land and learns that Alan, too, survived. On his way to join Breck at a prearranged rendezvous, David encounters a mounted troop headed by the infamous Colin Roy Campbell (Andrew Cruickshank), otherwise known as “The Red Fox” and an agent for King George. Campbell is slain from ambush. His men think David helped trap their leader and give chase.

David meets up with Breck and together they elude Campbell’s troops, but are ambushed by followers of Cluny MacPherson (Finlay Currie) and taken prisoner. MacPherson, a Jacobite himself, frees them when he recognizes Alan Breck. Alan decides to help David claim his father’s estate, and they head back over the moors to the Lowlands. They are temporarily delayed when David falls sick. Breck takes him to the house of Donald Dhu MacLaren (Abe Barker). There they encounter a fierce Highlander named Robin Oig MacGregor (Peter O’Toole), who challenges Alan to a fight with the claymore, but the issue is settled peacefully with a bagpipe competition.

His convalescence over, David leaves with Alan for Stirling in the Lowlands. To get there they must pass through a city closely guarded by the Redcoats, but they manage to get past the sentries at the main bridge.

At Queensferry, David finally meets Lawyer Rankeillor, who proves to the boy that he is really the legal heir to the House of Shaws. To avoid an expensive lawsuit against Ebenezer, Alan succeeds in tricking the cheat into a confession, and the way is cleared for the youth to claim the estate.

David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart, their adventurous life together at an end, bid farewell to each other. Alan leaves aboard ship for France, where he will receive sanctuary, and David returns to his new home as laird of the House of Shaws.

(Click here for more articles and information from the Pressbook)

To view a full gallery of images from this movie click here.

Kidnapped Video Cover

Kidnapped book

Kidnapped Comic book

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur and cast of Kidnapped

Peter Finch, James MacArthur

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