The Abduction Club

Film, Action and adventure
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Ireland, the 1780s. As the younger sons of wealthy aristos, Byrne (LaPaine) and Strang (Rhys) are heirs to precisely nothing. Thus the dashing duo have no option but to join Sir Myles' secret society and hatch a plan to schmooze the rich Kennedy sisters with a view to abduction and, perhaps, marriage. Although the outcome's never in doubt, this enjoyable period rom com-cum-road movie on horseback still has plenty going for it. A galloping pace resolves the plot twists before they become irritating, and the four likeable leads are served by a nicely tuned script, the inevitable sparring sounding modern and fresh rather than tediously ironic. It's well shot, too: the Irish countryside never looks less than lovely despite the dreadful weather.

By: SS

Release details

Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stefan Schwartz
Screenwriter: Bill Britten, Richard Crawford
Cast: Alice Evans
Daniel LaPaine
Sophia Myles
Matthew Rhys
Liam Cunningham
Edward Woodward
Patrick Malahide
John Arthur
Tom Murphy

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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The Abduction Club is an almost-unknown slice of brilliance, with a pretty stellar cast. Based upon the forgotten Irish tradition of abduction clubs, it manages (as films often do) to make a rather unpleasant and tawdry practice the subject of every woman's romantic fantasy. The plot centres on two impoverished and attractive younger sons of Anglo-Irish noblemen whose only chance of fortune lies in a rich bride. They're part of a band of similar lads, who take it in turns to win the hearts of the local heiresses before snatching them from their homes and marrying them in secret. Alas, as is only proper, things go slightly wrong with our heroes' quest and an easy mission is turned into a wild chase across Ireland's beautiful countryside. The interest in this film lies in the originality of its plot - despite following many of the standard rules or romantic comedy, it brings an interesting and new subject matter to the viewer's attention. There's good chemistry between the leads, and the supporting cast are excellent. I'd dare any woman to watch this film without losing her heart, but hey, I'm a hopeless romantic. The history behind the tale is rather less pleasant, but I'll leave you to find that out for yourselves!