Kidnapped (1971 film)

Kidnapped is a 1971 British adventure film, directed by Delbert Mann and starring Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Jack Hawkins and Donald Pleasence, as well as a number of well-known British character actors. The film is based on the novel Kidnapped and the first half of the sequel Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Original British quad film poster
Directed byDelbert Mann
Produced byFrederick H. Brogger
Screenplay byJack Pulman
Based onKidnapped and Catriona
by Robert Louis Stevenson
StarringMichael Caine
Trevor Howard
Jack Hawkins
Donald Pleasence
Lawrence Douglas
Vivien Heilbron
Music byRoy Budd
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byPeter Boita
Omnibus Productions Ltd[1]
Distributed byBritish Lion Films (UK)
Release date
  • 22 December 1971 (1971-12-22) (US)
  • 4 May 1972 (1972-05-04) (UK)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Young David Balfour arrives at a bleak Scottish house, the House of Shaws, to claim his inheritance. The house and land have been under the custodianship of his father's brother, Ebeneezer Balfour, but on reaching adulthood, the land and property become David's. Ebeneezer is having none of it, however, so he first tries to murder him, then has him kidnapped by sea captain Hoseason, with whom he has "a venture for trade in the West Indies". David is shipped off to be sold as a slave in the Carolinas. He strikes up a friendship with Alan Breck, escaping from Prince Charles Edward Stuart's defeat at Culloden. Breck is in a cobble which is run down in the fog by Hoseason's ship and once aboard, asks Hoseason to take him to France. When Hoseason refuses, Breck offers him 60 guineas to put him down on Loch Linnhe.

On discovering that Breck has a money belt full of Jacobite gold, Hoseason and his crew try to kill Breck, but he is forewarned by David and the two kill half a dozen of the crew before the others retreat. Hoseason offers terms to end the fighting, but the ship runs aground. Only Breck and Balfour appear to survive and they manage to get to land. They set out for Edinburgh, dodging the ruthless Redcoats. Numerous adventures follow as they meet up with Breck's family, friends and foes alike. These include Breck's cousin, James Stewart, and his daughter Catriona, with whom David falls in love.



The film was originally made for television but was screened in cinemas in some countries, as with other adaptations of classics directed by Delbert Mann, including Heidi and David Copperfield. Filming started in May 1971.[2]

Kidnapped was shot almost entirely on location in Scotland. Places include Argyll, Mull, Culross and Stirling Castle. The opening moorland scene of the end of the Battle of Culloden was filmed in Argyll, with highlander extras provided by Lochaber High School, Fort William, Highland and redcoat extras by Oban High School. Pinewood Studios was used for some interior scenes.

The film was originally known as David and Catriona.[3]


The soundtrack was composed and conducted by Roy Budd. The end title song, "For All My Days", was sung by Mary Hopkin.


  1. "Kidnapped (1972)".
  2. Call the Cops: It's Time to Call the Cops By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 7 Mar 1971: D11.
  3. Visconti Due at 'Venice' Preview Los Angeles Times 24 May 1971: e11.
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