Kidnapped (1995 film)
|Directed by||Ivan Passer|
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Screenplay by||John Goldsmith
|Story by||Robert Louis Stevenson
|Music by||Stanislaw Syrewicz|
|Cinematography||Floyd Crosby, ASC|
|Edited by||Bernard Gribble|
|Ardmore Studios Dublin|
|Running time||175 minutes|
Kidnapped ("A timeless tale of honor, bravery and adventure") is a 1995 TV adventure film directed by Ivan Passer and starring Armand Assante as Highlander Alan Breck and Brian McCardie as Lowlander David Balfour. Among the supporting actors are Michael Kitchen and Brian Blessed. The film was based on the book titled Kidnapped by author Robert Louis Stevenson. Christopher Reeve had originally been cast as Breck prior to the spinal cord injury which left him a quadriplegic on May 27, 1995.
The adaptation starts by describing a divided Scotland which is populated by Highlanders and Lowlanders who are loyal to different kings. Allan Breck Stuart is characterised as a leading figure of Jacobitism who tried "to keep the flame alive". It ends when Alan Breck Stuart leaves Scotland forever "to have a distinguished career in the French Army", while David Balfour stays and marries a lady from the Highlands. Another voice-over tells they had sons who "were neither Highlanders nor Lowlanders. They were Scots."
The film was shot on location in Ireland.
Allan Breck Stewart (Armand Assante) returns to his home village, which is already menaced by the highland clearances. His foster father James Stewart of the Glen (Brian McGrath) issues the taxpayers' money for the exiled House of Stuart to him and beseeches him to meet King George's factor, the "Red Fox" Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure (Brendan Gleeson). Allan Stuart only grudgingly complies, because he regards the “Red Fox” as a traitor, for at the Battle of Culloden he had to fight against Loudon's Highlanders, a regiment of Highlanders led by Campbells.
At about the same time David Balfour leaves the fictitious small village Essendean in the Scottish Lowlands. Reverend Campbell tells him he was given a letter in charge by David's late father. It is a letter of introduction addressing a Laird. The reverend informs him that his late mother never wanted him to go to the “House of Shaws” and asks him to stay in Essendean. But David is driven by wanderlust, and therefore resolves to go.
The "Red Fox" receives Allan Stuart with an abettor who holds the guest at gun point. An English officer named William Reid (Michael Kitchen) and his soldiers are in waiting when the "Red Fox" offers to protect James Stewart of The Glen. Allan Stuart asks him twice to swear his kin will be protected indeed but even so he merely receives a mute grin. Allan decides the man cannot be trusted and eludes in order to continue his mission.
David has meanwhile reached the “House of Shaws”. He also finds all of a sudden a gun directed at him. The man who threatens to shoot him turns out to be his uncle Ebenezer (Patrick Malahide). Ebenezer reluctantly invites him in, but later on tries to kill him by an arranged accident. David survives, yet the next day Ebenezer has him kidnapped by a criminal sea captain. David wakes up on a ship going to America, where he shall be sold as a slave.
When David is trapped, William Reid and “the Red Fox” try to assassinate Allan Breck in the woods. They fail because William Reid smokes a pipe with strong tobacco. Allan Breck, who therefore can literally smell the trap, steals a horse and escapes. He leaves a paper with a quote from A Counterblaste to Tobacco written by James I of England. The “Red Fox” relishes this humiliation of Englishman William Reid.
David becomes Captain Forbes' new cabin boy, for the previous cabin boy has been murdered by the sailor Mr. Shuan. Allan Breck, who needs to leave for France in a foggy night, accidentally happens to end up on the same ship. David is supposed to wait on Allan. The criminal sea captain attempts to ambush Allan for his gold but David confounds these plans and helps Allan Breck to stand his ground. A severe storm then causes a wreckage.
Allan and David return as castaways to the Scottish onshore. Allan runs into his friend Ewan of Appin, who was just exposed as a Jacobite spy. As his dying friend informs him, William Reid plans to frame James Stewart of The Glen for a murder he is about to carry out. Allan tries to prevent this but he can only witness how the "Red Fox” is shot dead by a sniper. David gets the impression Allan was the assassin and breaks up with him.
David is caught by British soldiers who consider him an accomplice of the murderer. Allan can free him. Once they are safe, Allan refutes David's theories about the murder. Both of them go to James Stewart of The Glen and warn him. Against his will he is defended by them when the Red Coats come to arrest him.
Soon William Reid himself comes to Allan's home village in order to arrest Allan's foster father. James Stewart of The Glen sacrifices himself for his people's sake, but despite that they are driven of the land. Captain Forbes (Adam Blackwood), William Reid's direct subordinate, is appalled.
Allan seeks to prove James Stewart's innocence. He visits gunsmith Angus ( David Kelly), who has produced the very gun used for the Appin Murder. This leads to Hamish MacDonald (Jonathan Ryan) as a primary suspect. Allan now goes to the Earl of Dunbrea (Alan Stanford), a former MacDonald clan chief and asks him for support. The Earl's grand daughter Mary guides Allan and David to her cousin Hamish's house. Hamish does confess the murder but William Reid kills him under the pretence of self-defense. Allan is put in prison and is forced to watch James Stewart of The Glen being executed. David and the Earl of Dunbrea and his granddaughter free Allan Breck.
In order to hide, Allan visits his old brother-in-arms Ewen MacPherson of Cluny (Brian Blessed).
William Reid concedes to Captain Forbes that he has indeed paid Hamish MacDonald to kill the “Red Fox”. As Captain Forbes learns, the “Red Fox” was considered too lenient towards his fellow countrymen and now William Reid is his successor as the King's factor. Following that Captain Forbes meets with Allan Breck and condones Reid's looming demise. Even so, before Allan Breck finally confronts William Reid and kills him, he takes care that David can eventually successfully claim his heritage. After he had done for David Balfour, what he failed to achieve for Bonnie Prince Charlie, he puts paid to William Reid's deceptive schemes and then leaves Britain forever.