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Kidnapped (1948 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed byWilliam Beaudine
Screenplay byScott Darling
Based onKidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Produced byLindsley Parsons
Roddy McDowall
StarringRoddy McDowall
Sue England
Dan O'Herlihy
CinematographyWilliam A. Sickner
Edited byAce Herman
Music byEdward J. Kay
Dave Torbett
Distributed byMonogram Pictures
Release date
  • November 28, 1948 (1948-11-28)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States

Kidnapped is a 1948 American historical adventure film directed by William Beaudine and starring Roddy McDowall, Sue England and Dan O'Herlihy. It is based on the 1886 novel of the same name by Robert Louis Stevenson. The former child star McDowall plays David Balfour in the story about a young man cheated out of his birthright by his wicked, covetous uncle Ebenezer (Houseley Stevenson).[1]

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Scotland, 1751: At a stately manor near Edinburgh, the young David Balfour arrives with a sealed letter from his recently deceased father for Ebenezer, his uncle. It is meant to be delivered to a family lawyer to introduce David as the rightful heir to the property.

After slyly trying to kill his previously unknown nephew but failing, Ebenezer conspires with a sea captain, Hoseason, to take the boy hostage and sell him into slavery. A prisoner aboard ship, David soon meets Alan Breck, who, in need of rescue, now finds himself in danger of Hoseason stealing his gold and perhaps murdering him as well. David's quick intervention saves his life.

Washed up ashore after a storm, David is hidden by an innkeeper's daughter, Aileen, then begins a long and arduous journey home. With the help of Alan, he is able to coerce a confession about the kidnapping from his uncle that is overheard by the lawyer, who now knows David to be the proper heir. Hoseason, feeling betrayed, tries to kill Ebenezer in a sword fight, resulting in the deaths of both.


Actor Role
Roddy McDowall David Balfour
Sue England Aileen Fairlie
Dan O'Herlihy Alan Breck
Roland Winters Capt. Hoseason
Jeff Corey Shuan
Houseley Stevenson Ebenezer
Erskine Sanford Rankeillor
Alex Frazer Hugh Fairlie
Winifriede McDowall Innkeeper's Wife
Robert J. Anderson Ransome
Janet Murdoch Janet Clouston
Olaf Hytten The Red Fox
Erville Alderson Mungo
Mary Gordon Scotswoman
Hugh O'Brian Sailor
Eric Wilton Rankeillor's Secretary
Jimmie Dodd Scottish Sailor


McDowall performed a radio version of the novel in 1946 with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.[2]

In 1948 McDowall was making a series of films for Monogram Pictures on which McDowall would star and executive produce. They selected Kidnapped. Dan O'Herlihy, who had just appeared in Orson Welles' Macbeth was signed to play Alan Breck. Filming started on Santa Catalina in May 1948. The film unit used James Cagney's yacht, the Swift.[3] Studio work took place at Nassour Studios.[4]

Monogram considered making a sequel, David Balfour, also starring McDowall.[5] It was meant to follow Tuna Clipper, the next McDowall-Parsons-Monogram film.[6] However this did not eventuate.


  1. ^ KIDNAPPED Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 16, Iss. 181, (Jan 1, 1949): 118.
  2. ^ Hope Springs Eternal! Hopper, Hedda. The Washington Post 30 Apr 1946: 4.
  3. ^ O'Herlihy to Act Breck; LaGuardia Deal Hinted Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 8 May 1948: 9.
  4. ^ Tuna Fisherman Role Will Star McDowall Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 22 May 1948: 7.
  5. ^ APPEAR IN MURDER PICTURE New York Times 22 Oct 1948: 32.
  6. ^ Morros Jr., Questing McCormack Story Rights; 'David Balfour' on Slate Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 22 Oct 1948: 23.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 May 2024, at 03:42
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