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The Little Kidnappers (1990)

Two young orphans have to relocate to Nova Scotia and endure their bitter and jerky grandfather, but when they find a baby washed up on the beach, everything changes.

Director:

Donald Shebib

Writers:

Coralee Elliott Testar (screenplay), Neil Paterson (screenplay "The Kidnappers") | 1 more credit »
Reviews
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... James MacKenzie
Bruce Greenwood ... Willem Hooft
Patricia Gage ... Mrs. MacKenzie
Dan MacDonald Dan MacDonald ... Tom Cameron
Leah Pinsent ... Kirsten MacKenzie
Charles Miller Charles Miller ... Davy MacKenzie
Leo Wheatley Leo Wheatley ... Harry MacKenzie
Richard Donat ... Hans Hooft
Amos Crawley ... Jan Hooft
Eileen Pedde ... Mrs. Hooft
Deborah Allen Deborah Allen ... Mrs. Cameron
Erin Kuttner Erin Kuttner ... Jean Cameron
Nicola Lipman Nicola Lipman ... Mrs. MacNeill
Gay Hauser Gay Hauser ... Mrs. Thompson
Sten Eirik Sten Eirik ... Mr. Sinclair
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Storyline

Loosely based on a '50's movie of the same name, it tells the story of two young orphan boys who travel by themselves from the Old country to join their father's family in Canada. There they encounter their stern disciplinarian grandfather who has alienated himself from some of his neighbors. There is particularly no love lost between the grandfather and his Dutch neighbors, who he generalizes as being responsible for his son's death in the Boor War. A side product of this animosity is that it is keeping apart the boy's aunt and her Dutch doctor suitor. The two boys change everything though when they find a young baby on the beach... Written by CD

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

doctor | orphan | orphan boy | beach | baby | See All (63) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A kis gyerekrablók See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An 8/11/1990 Eugene Register-Guard article (page 40) about The Little Kidnappers mentions the TV movie was shot in Nova Scotia during the Fall (September 23 to December 21) and that Charles Miller was 5 years old (10/13/1988 to 10/12/1989), so the film shoot was ongoing during the window 9/23/1989 to 10/12/1989. The article also mentions that both boys were "found" in England and that Leo Wheatley was 8 years old. Chris Majka writes in Cinema Canada, November 1989, that The Little Kidnappers was shot in four weeks and that the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea docked in "Halifax harbor" during the shoot. Peace Magazine, Dec 1989 - Jan 1990, mentions the Coral Sea steamed into "Halifax Harbour" on September 21. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 8 mins) After the search has been called off due to a storm, the baby is lying on the floor of the cave mostly wrapped in a dark blanket with its right arm and shoulder and some of its left shoulder exposed and with a lit lantern hanging behind it on the wall of the cave. When the boys enter the cave with Granddaddy, the baby is completely wrapped in a lighter colored blanket, except for its face, and the lantern has extinguished and is standing at the baby's feet. See more »

Quotes

[Willem is dropping off Kirsten at her house]
Kirsten MacKenzie: This is far enough, Willem? Do not let my father see.
Willem Hooft: Well, if your father has any sense, he would've been asleep for hours.
[helps Kirsten off the buggy]
Willem Hooft: I can't let you go without telling you how much I enjoyed being with you tonight.
Kirsten MacKenzie: I never knew dancing could be so wonderful.
[they kiss]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Distributor Feature Films for Families released an edited version on DVD in 2009 with an 87 minute 25 second runtime (1:27:25 on DVD players) even though its DVD case lists the runtime as "about 94 min". See more »

Connections

Remake of The Little Kidnappers (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding Dance Music
Arranged by The Barra MacNeils
Performed by The Barra MacNeils
See more »

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User Reviews

 
McKenzie Family Values
20 January 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Little Kidnappers has to be one of the best family viewing films I've seen in a very long time. What makes it so good is the performances of the two young boys Leo Wheatley and Charles Miller as the grandsons of family patriarch Charlton Heston who've come to turn of the last century Nova Scotia to live with him and their grandmother Patricia Gage and aunt Leah Pinsent after their parents died. Heston's son was killed in the Boer War and he has a vigorous dislike for those people.

Heston's a tough hard man who had tough hard life. We learn he wasn't good as a parent in many ways and looks like he hasn't learned anything.

The title comes from the fact that one of the boys finds a baby abandoned on the beach and they hide it in a cave and try to care for it in the best way children can. They don't want the infant to grow up as they just might under a stern parent as Heston has become.

Leah Pinsent has some issues as well. She's keeping company with Bruce Greenwood a recent Boer immigrant to Canada who's a doctor and she dare not let Heston find out.

The two boys really make this film. The adult players including Charlton Heston have a lot of trouble keeping up with them. They acted so natural like real kids instead of Hollywood kids that you see in so many films. The hardest heart in the world will melt with these two and Heston has just that in the film.

Topping it all off is some beautiful photography of Nova Scotia. The Little Kidnappers which is a remake of a Fifties British film is one of the best family films I've seen in a long time.


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