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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  7 February 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,815 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 10 critic

A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine.



(by) (as The Baroness Orczy) , (scenario, continuity & dialogue) (as Lajos Biro) , 7 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bramwell Fletcher ...
Anthony Bushell ...
Joan Gardner ...
Walter Rilla ...
Mabel Terry-Lewis ...
O.B. Clarence ...
Ernest Milton ...
Edmund Breon ...
Col. Winterbottom
Melville Cooper ...
Gibb McLaughlin ...
The Barber
Morland Graham ...
Treadle (the tailor) (as Moreland Graham)


London fop Percy Blakeney is also secretly the Scarlet Pimpernel who, in a variety of disguises, makes repeated daring trips to France to save aristocrats from Madame Guillotine. His unknowing wife is also French, and she finds that her brother has been arrested by the Republic to try and get her to find out who "that damned elusive Pimpernel" really is. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Scarlet Pimpernel. Who Was He... What Was His Strange Power?


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die scharlachrote Blume  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Percy Blakeney refers to one of the boxers as "Mendoza", a reference to Daniel Mendoza, the 18th-century British Jew who revolutionized boxing. Mendoza was the heavyweight champion of England (1792-5), despite being a middleweight. 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 »


Sir Andrew Ffoulkes: Know her? Everyone in London knows Lady Blakeney.
See more »


Version of The Fighting Pimpernel (1950) See more »


The Comical Fellow
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User Reviews

"Those Frenchies Seek Him Everywhere."
25 November 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

There are some including previous reviewers here who would argue that The Scarlet Pimpernel afforded Leslie Howard his finest screen role. I wouldn't argue the point.

This Pimpernel guy, a sort of English Zorro/Lone Ranger is one tricky fellow. He's declared his own private war on the French Revolution and while not prancing about Regency society, he's over in France rescuing as many aristocrats as he can from Madame Guillotine.

Like Zorro in order to throw off suspicion, Sir Percy Blakeney affects the guise of a fop so that no one will think him capable of anything bold. Unlike Don Diego De La Vega, Blakeney's a married man, married to a French woman played by Merle Oberon who has her own dirty little secrets she's keeping.

Come to think of Don Diego and Sir Percy were operating in roughly the same period.

There's a guy named Chauvelin who's got a mission from the head guy at the Revolution, Robespierre himself. Bring back the Scarlet Pimpernel to face Revolutionary justice or you will. That's one great incentive.

Raymond Massey is a ruthless hunter as Chauvelin. And he believes in his mission. As another reviewer quite plainly put it Massey well remembers all the excesses that the aristocrats indulged in for centuries. He's pretty good too, but Leslie Howard is a tad better.

Leslie Howard is one of those players you can listen to and never be bored. He had that marvelous ability to make some of the most trite dialog sound like Shakespeare. As did his fellow British players Ronald Colman and Robert Donat. No one ever played the jaded world weary soul quite the way Howard did, whether it was Alan Squire, Ashley Wilkes or Percy Blakeney.

The Scarlet Pimpernel after over 70 years holds up well as classic entertainment. No one, but a jaded regency fop could not like this film.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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