Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue


1h 24m 1954
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue

Brief Synopsis

The courageous Roy Roy MacGregor leads a revolt of the Scottish clans against the English monarchy, eventually securing an amnesty for all the MacGregors when he arrives at the court of the German-speaking King George.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Highland Rogue
Genre
Action
Adventure
Historical
Release Date
Feb 27, 1954
Premiere Information
World premiere in London: 26 Oct 1953; New York opening: 3 Feb 1954; Los Anglees opening: 10 Feb 1954
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Scotland, United Kingdom; Aberfoyle district, Scotland, Great Britain; Elstree, England, Great Britain; Trossach district, Scotland, Great Britain; England, Great Britain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

During the early eighteenth century, the English choose a German king, George I, evoking the ire of the Scottish, who fight bitterly to enthrone James Stuart instead. Although most of the rebellions are suppressed, a few clans, most notably the MacGregors, continue to revolt. One day, the MacGregors, led by Rob Roy, wage battle against the Scottish army, led by the Duke of Argyll. Although Argyll takes his orders from King George and his chief minister, Robert Walpole, he shows leniency to the MacGregors, whom he allows to retreat without being slaughtered. Some of the men return to their village, where they inform Rob's mother, Lady Glengyll, that Rob has been imprisoned at Stirling Castle. Fearlessly, Lady Glengyll rides to Stirling to confront Argyll, who is a member of the Campbell clan, as she was before marriage. At the castle, the ruthless Duke of Montrose informs Argyll that his compassion toward the MacGregors has endangered his position. When Lady Glengyll later suggests that Argyll send Rob to stand trial in London under the care of Montrose, hinting that their coach may be overrun by MacGregors, Argyll is happy to oblige. As planned, Rob's clansmen free him from Montrose's coach and humiliate the foppish lord, earning his everlasting enmity. Back home, Lady Glengyll suggests that it is time for Rob to marry, and he willingly visits his beloved, Helen Mary MacPherson. When Rob tries to propose, Helen Mary's father, innkeeper Hamish, teases him by blasting his musical instrument at inopportune moments. Finally, Rob pulls Helen Mary outside and kisses her, reading her reply in her warm response. Soon, they are married, and enjoy a reception at which the whole clan drinks and dances. They are interrupted, however, by Montrose's henchman, Duncan MacIntosh, who announces that Montrose has taken over Argyll's position as Secretary of State for Scotland, and that all clans have been granted amnesty except for the MacGregors, who will heretofore be stripped of their name. When Duncan then arrests Rob, his men long to attack, but Rob counsels them to "go back to the punchbowl." Not realizing that this is code for a hideout in the hills, Duncan ties Rob's hands and escorts him, under guard, to Stirling. Along the way, however, Rob breaks free and escapes over a waterfall, untying his hands on the other side and racing to "the punchbowl" to meet his men. After exhorting them to remain calm while he goes into hiding, Rob sneaks back into the village to see Helen Mary, asleep in his mother's home. As the newlyweds embrace, Duncan and his men invade the house, and Lady Glengyll, unaware that Rob has come to see Helen Mary, vows that he is not there. When Duncan spots Roy escaping, he accuses Lady Glengyll of deliberately lying. Over the next months, Montrose issues higher and higher taxes on the MacGregors, and when Duncan comes to collect them one day, he announces that the clan will soon be ruined if they do not give up Rob. Rob, there in disguise, assaults Duncan and, after counting out the correct tax, returns the extra to his men, warning that he will continue to steal from Montrose as long as the duke treats him unfairly. Rob keeps his word, humiliating Montrose, who censures Duncan. When Montrose calls Rob "just one man," Duncan retorts that each man and woman of the clan is Rob Roy. Montrose plans to imprison Lady Glengyll for treason in a nearby fort, but as the fort is being refurbished, Rob learns of the scheme. He is at Lady Glengyll's when Duncan attacks, and manages to barricade the soldiers outside, not realizing that his mother has been shot in the crossfire. Duncan sets fire to the house, but just as Rob fears he must surrender, his clansmen see the smoke and attack en masse. Rob leads his men against the soldiers, who retreat to the fort, but returns at Helen Mary's bidding, arriving just as his mother dies. At her funeral, they are joined by Argyll and welcome him warmly. Before the ceremony, Montrose attacks, but Argyll reveals that his men are hidden all around the cemetery, forcing Montrose to withdraw. Rob has laid siege to the fort, but Argyll now urges him to seek amnesty instead of violence. Rob is unmoved until Helen Mary informs him that his mother's dying wish was for an end to the feud. He calls to Duncan's henchman, Torcal, offering peace, but Torcal responds by shooting him in the arm, and Rob declares open warfare. Meanwhile, in London, Rob's name has become legendary, with esteemed writers such as Daniel Defoe writing books proclaiming his courage. At the urging of his translator, Countess Van Pahlen, King George enjoys the stories, prompting him to allow Argyll entrance into court to plead Rob's case. Despite Montrose's attempts to depict the Highlanders as vicious criminals, George accepts Argyll's offer to grant Rob a pardon if he will come to London of his own accord. In Scotland, Rob is leading his men in an attack, in which Torcal is killed. Argyll, arriving in the battle's aftermath, bitterly informs Rob that he has shamed their name and endangered all the Highland clans, who will now be subject to Montrose's cruel plans. Although his men are eager to fight England's soldiers, Rob finally realizes his imprudence, and marches into London. The townspeople line up behind him as he enters the palace, where he begs Argyll's forgiveness and for the mercy of the king. Pleased, George returns the MacGregor name back to the clan and calls Rob "a great rogue." Back at the inn, the MacGregors tell tall tales about Rob's victory in London, but Helen Mary worries about his delayed return. Despite the men's descriptions of the beautiful women at court, Rob rounds the corner, eager to be reunited with his wife.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Highland Rogue
Genre
Action
Adventure
Historical
Release Date
Feb 27, 1954
Premiere Information
World premiere in London: 26 Oct 1953; New York opening: 3 Feb 1954; Los Anglees opening: 10 Feb 1954
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Scotland, United Kingdom; Aberfoyle district, Scotland, Great Britain; Elstree, England, Great Britain; Trossach district, Scotland, Great Britain; England, Great Britain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue


The courageous Roy Roy MacGregor leads a revolt of the Scottish clans against the English monarchy, eventually securing an amnesty for all the MacGregors when he arrives at the court of the German-speaking King George.
Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue

Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue

The courageous Roy Roy MacGregor leads a revolt of the Scottish clans against the English monarchy, eventually securing an amnesty for all the MacGregors when he arrives at the court of the German-speaking King George.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

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.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter February 27, 1954

Released in United States Winter February 27, 1954