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 ... See full summary »
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Olivia de Havilland
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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>
The original play opened in London on 5 January 1905, three years before it was novelized. See more »
The jailer who tells Chauvelin about the Le Lion d'Or has his arms folded in one shot and then by his side in the next. See more »
Armand St. Just:
[of Marguerite's betrayal of St-Cyr]
So that is why you ceased to love her. What a tragedy.
Ceased? I shall love her until the day I die. That's the tragedy.
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I've seen this fine movie so often yet never tire of tuning in to it. To me it's a fascinating drama that holds no hint of being dated as some films tend to be. Thanks to such an excellent cast and intense story, one is swept along from scene to scene rather expecting the worse but thankful it isn't.
I consider this role to be one of Leslie Howard's best performances. As Sir Percy Blakeney, he's regarded as a frivolous socialite, but in truth he skilfully wends his way through every dangerous situation he encounters during those troubled times. There's a nonchalant, flippant air about him that masks a deep, genuine concern he harbours for saving innocent lives from the dreaded guillotine of revolutionary France.
Merle Oberon, as the beautiful wife of Sir Percy, is continually in distress over the disillusioned position she finds herself in, of having lost all respect for her husband's apparent shallow character, until she learns otherwise. There is also the danger for her brother's life that she tries to avert. All this leads to the villainous presence of Chauvelin, played by Raymond Massey, who is up to his evil ways to say the least.
Nigel Bruce, as the Prince of Wales, has quite the knack of presenting real foppish royalty of the times; it's one of his better roles, being true to type you might say.
It would have been nice to see a stage rendition if possible since it has all the right ingredients for a great play. A true classic!
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