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Olivia de Havilland
Leslie Howard plays Sir Percy Blakeney, an 18th century English aristocrat who leads a double life. He appears to be merely the effete aristocrat, but in reality is part of an underground effort to free French nobles from Robespierre's Reign of Terror. Based on the novel by Baroness Orczy. Written by
Patrick Dominick <email@example.com>
Blakeney and the Prince of Wales are seen at a boxing match in which the combatants are in a structure similar to a modern 'square' ring. This form of the ring was not used until around 1838. See more »
I've seen all of the screen versions of this fine story, and sink me, if this isn't the best! I'll grant you that the newer ones have morelavish set qualities, but it's the very antiquity of this version that gives it it's charm. It's like looking through the veil that curtains us from the past, and watching what really happened.
Merle Oberon was an International beauty and so is very believable as the woman who is at the center of many of the plot's devices. (Though I must admit that she is almost annoyingly photograph to favor one side.)
Leslie Howard as Sir Percy -- he is the glue of this movie. He is slender, elegant, foppish, keen and clever. No one can hold a candle to him. He delivers the sometimes hilarious dialog with perfect timing. I had no idea he could be so funny. He strides, poses, flashes a silly grin and bursts out, "Sink me! This place is like a mausoleum!" Then he goes on and on about how he suffers from "the fatigue". Who would know that such a man would have the bravery and conviction and smarts to be the Scarlet Pimpernel? No one; not even his wife.
Raymond Massey is a stand out, as are all the other players.
The ending is very romantic and will leave the viewer with a tingle.
I recommend this movie very highly.
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