Monday, October 31, 2005

Kidnapped, The Scarecrow and Thomasina

Last night, the fam sat down to watch a new version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped on PBS. My husband and I had already taken a trip down Memory Lane regarding the Disney version, both of us vividly recalling the scene where young David Balfour is sent up a tower by his evil uncle. David nearly falls to his death when the stairs end and the step he's on gives way. We had high hopes for the new version, but that part didn't have nearly the same impact.

Or was it that seeing that scene had more impact before because we were so much younger?

Thiking of the Disney version of Kidnapped led to me to recall other Disney movies, often reshown serially on TV, that I loved. The two that immediately spring to mind are The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (aka Dr. Syn and if you follow that link, whoever designed that packaging should be FIRED. It's UGLY!) and The Three Lives of Thomasina. It's since occurred to me that in both of the latter, the main male character is played by Patrick McGoohan, and in neither case is the man "warm and fuzzy." If memory serves, the Scarecrow is a smuggler by night, and a clergyman by day, and he's rather easier to see as the smuggler than a clergyman. I can't really see this guy baptising babies. And his mask as the Scarecrow was scary! (At least to me in those more innocent times.)

PM plays the father in The Three Lives of Thomasina (Thomasina being a cat), and he's a very bitter fellow indeed, still grieving over the loss of his wife, which seems to have totally hardened his heart. He meets a woman who starts the thaw -- ah, romance! -- even though the movie is more about his relationship with his daughter.

Quite a few of my heroes would fall into the bitter, crusty, not "safe and comfy" category. Coincidence? I think not. I should probably send Patrick McGoohan a thank-you note.

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