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Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue

Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue(1954)


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The working titles of this film were Rob Roy and The Highland Rogue. The opening and closing cast credits vary slightly in order. Included in the opening credits is the following written statement: "Our sincere appreciation for the generous cooperation of the officers and men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Forestry Commission (Scotland)." The film begins with a written foreword describing how the Scottish Highlander clans of the early eighteenth century rebelled against George I, hoping to crown James Stuart as their king. Although the film was reviewed under the title Rob Roy, the copyright and the viewed print list the title as Rob Roy the Highland Rogue.
       Although Sir Walter Scott published a book entitled Rob Roy in 1817, according to a December 27, 1953 Los Angeles Times article, this movie was based not on the book but on "myths and legends about the real Rob Roy." As shown in the movie, the real Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734) was born in Stirling, Scotland, and suffered under the rule of the Duke of Montrose. Unlike the film's hero, however, Rob Roy earned the reputation of a bandit and pirate who was distrusted by both sides during the Jacobite rebellion. He was captured and imprisoned in London, but pardoned in 1727 by King George I.
       Rob Roy the Highland Rogue was the last Walt Disney film to be distributed by RKO. The next Disney feature film, The Living Desert (see below) was distributed independently. Stormy, the Thoroughbred with an Inferiority Complex (see below) and subsequent Disney films were released under the studio's new distribution arm, Buena Vista Film Distribution Co., Inc.
       Disney borrowed Richard Todd from the Associated British studio for this film. According to an April 1953 Variety news item, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlander soldiers were used as unpaid extras in battle scenes. Los Angeles Times reported on December 27, 1953 that Glasgow schoolchildren played children in the film. The same article noted that Todd tore knee ligaments during a battle scene and subsequently missed the following week of shooting. According to a November 1952 Los Angeles Times news item, the film's exteriors were to be shot in Scotland, while the interiors would be shot in London. A February 1954 Hollywood Citizen-News article states that some scenes were shot in the ancient Trossach and Aberfoyle districts.
       Rob Roy the Highland Rogue was selected for the Royal Command Performance on October 26, 1953 in London, attended by Queen Elizabeth. It was also broadcast on the Disneyland television program in two parts that aired on 3 October and October 10, 1956. The Rob Roy story had been filmed twice previously, a 1913 French version and a 1922 British version, both entitled Rob Roy. In addition, in 1995 Michael Caton-Jones directed the film Rob Roy, which starred Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange.