Combination of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and its lesser-known sequel David Balfour (titled Catriona in England) results in an intriguing adventure piece set against that period in Scottish history when the English were trying to take over that country’s rule.
The dying struggle between a few remaining clans who refuse to relinquish their sovereignty, and English King George who sends his redcoats into the Highlands to stamp out rebellion, is graphically depicted through the personalized story of one of the Stuarts. This overshadows the story of David Balfour, hero of Kidnapped , the 18th-century Scottish lad cheated of his inheritance by a conniving uncle, but pic loses nothing in the telling.
Michael Caine plays the swashbuckling character of Alan Breck, who embodies the spirit of the bloody but unbowed Highlanders. Delbert Mann’s direction catches the proper flavor of the times.
Lawrence Douglas portrays David Balfour, who becomes a follower of Breck, a man with a price on his head, trying to escape to France after the bloodbath of Culloden in 1746.