The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  7 February 1935 (USA)
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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?


When Sir Percy recites his poem, it contains the word "demmed" which, in the US in 1934, would have been construed as profanity and would not have been allowed. This film was produced in England, however, where it was. See more »


At Lord Grenville's ball, the final movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" is played several times. Although the piece was composed in 1787 it was not published until around 1827. See more »


Percy Blakeney: Magnificent fight this afternoon, my dear. Gad! That Mendoza's got quick ears. In the 10th round, when Jackson had him down, I shouted, "Get up, Mendoza!" And damn me, he did and sink me, he won!
See more »


Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #5.20 (1972) See more »


Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played in the background to the scene in the library between Chauvelin and Blakeney
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining, Satisfying Adaptation With A Fine Performance By Leslie Howard
22 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Overall, this is an entertaining and satisfying screen adaptation of the classic story of "The Scarlet Pimpernel". It is well-written, well-acted, and also contains a good balance of action sequences and verbal sparring. Yet it is Leslie Howard's performance that stands out most of all, in a dual role that allows him to use his talent and his distinctive persona to their best advantage.

The story adaptation is nicely done, with some very good dialogue and a good pace as it builds up the tension and gradually reveals all that is going on. It makes it easy for the fine cast to bring their characters to life, and it gives most of the main characters some good opportunities.

Besides Howard, Raymond Massey does very well with a villainous character well-suited to him, Nigel Bruce is entertaining as the prince, and Merle Oberon does well enough in handling her character's dilemmas. Howard himself captures the main character's personality well, and he also helps to pull everything else together. Although he might be better remembered for some of his roles in movies that are even more well-known, this might be his own best performance.

The story itself is one of the well-remembered classics for its very interesting setting as well as the combination of exciting action and memorable characters. This movie version and its cast do well in capturing some of the best material from the novel.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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