Rent The Kidnappers (1953)

3.7 of 5 from 53 ratings
1h 30min
Rent The Kidnappers (aka The Little Kidnappers) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Directed by Philip Leacock, this sensitive children's adventure paints a fine picture of an isolated community in a harsh environment. Set early in 20th Century Nova Scotia, Canada, two orphaned Scottish boys are sent to live an austere life with their puritan grandfather Jim Mackenzie (Duncan Macrae) and kindly grandma (Jean Anderson). Mackenzie is respected but not liked and has a bitter heart due to the death of his son during the Boer War. However his love for the boys is undeniable and his desire to protect them from the evils of the world results in them feeling isolated and starved of affection.
To fill the void in their lives, the boys ask for a dog, but when this request is denied, they adopt a baby they find abandoned in the woodlands. Meanwhile, a search party has assembled to track down the lost baby which results in a happy conclusion for all concerned.
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Leslie Parkyn, Sergei Nolbandov
Neil Paterson
The Little Kidnappers
Strawberrry Media
Action & Adventure, Children & Family, Classics, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
90 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W

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Reviews (1) of The Kidnappers

Frontier Feud. - The Kidnappers review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

Period drama set in Nova Scotia, Canada in the first decade of the twentieth century. A community of Scottish settlers has made a simple home in the snowy mountains, and is reluctantly accommodating new Dutch immigrants. The patriarch of a meagre smallholding (Duncan Macrae) is driven by resentment and prejudice, stoked by a land feud.

Philip Leacock was a specialist in directing films featuring small children, and The Kidnappers is mainly remembered for Jon Whiteley (aged 8) and Vincent Winter (5), who both won a special Oscar. Leacock does a great job in piecing together their performances, and they have plenty of natural charisma.

The boys travel across country to live with their inflexible grandfather, who rules by the bible and the lash. And the film is about how the family is traumatised by a lack of love. Not just the children, but his daughter (Adrienne Corri) who is growing old alone in the remote settlement. Refused a dog, the young brothers snatch a baby...

Which may give the film its title, but it's a brief, unlikely episode. The film is about the family dynamic and their frustrated emotions. There is a strong sense of location, with the Scottish highlands standing in for Canada. But the main attraction is the child performances, and even those allergic to the cutes are going to find them pretty irresistible.

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