The Ransom of Red Chief

DVD Release: August 16, 1998
The Ransom of Red Chief


In this uproarious action-comedy, two bumbling ne’er-do-wells, Sam and Bill, kidnap
Andy Dorset, the mischievous nine-year-old son of Ambrose Doraet, a pompous banker and civic leader. Andy is convinced by the duo that he is involved in a madcap adventure and pretends to be Red Chief, a fierce Indian warrior. Andy is known for his wild imagination, so when his father received a Ransom note for only $47.50, he thinks it’s a prank. But when two dangerous convicts escape from prison, Andy may finally be in real danger…

Dove Review

An attempted mixture of comedy and drama, “The Ransom of Red Chief” doesn’t seem to quite make the cut. The “comedy”, both vocal and physical, wasn’t smooth, but instead seemed quite forced and scripted. The story was a good idea, but with such things as a man getting hit in the face with a cast iron pan and repeated words like “Mongolian whore,” I had difficulty finding much humor in it.

The main character was a bratty little boy who showed complete disrespect for his parents throughout most of the movie. In the end he seemed sorry, but it was tough to watch him in the lead role. But he does show regret and so “The Ransom of Red Chief” does earn the Dove Family-Approved Seal.

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: Repeated uses of “Mongolian whores”, the dad uses the word thespian and it is implied that the mother is thinking lesbian.
Violence: Boy hits man in face with frying pan, guns and shooting-no blood, men getting hit in the face/body with rocks.
Drugs: Guy smoking a cigar.
Nudity: None
Other: The main character is a very disrespectful boy mostly to his parents, but also to other townspeople.


Company: Triumph Marketing, LLC
Writer: O. Henry and Ed Naha
Director: Bob Clark
Producer: J. Boyce Harman, Jr.
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 90 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Starring: Haley Joel Osment; Richard Moll; Kaitlin Hopkins; Alan Buck; Michael Jeter; Christopher Lloyd
Reviewer: Sarah Bennor