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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,618 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 9 critic

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

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(by), (scenario, continuity & dialogue), 7 more credits »
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Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Bramwell Fletcher ...
The Priest
Anthony Bushell ...
Joan Gardner ...
Walter Rilla ...
Mabel Terry-Lewis ...
O.B. Clarence ...
Ernest Milton ...
Edmund Breon ...
Col. Winterbottom
Melville Cooper ...
Romney
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Morland Graham ...
Treadle (the tailor) (as Moreland Graham)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die scharlachrote Blume  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Prince of Wales: Why, damn me, Percy, you're brainless, spineless, useless: But you do know clothes!
See more »


Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music and lyrics by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played during the opening credits
Reprised by singing citizens
See more »

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User Reviews

A Stirring Movie, very fresh and cheeky.
4 November 1998 | by (Seattle, Wa) – See all my reviews

One might want to pre-judge this movie on the basis of its release date (1934), but it would be a mistake to consider this movie as creeky and old. On the contrary, it remains so brilliantly focused and sharply contrasted, that the viewer can get lost within the film-strip of this fine Korda film. The sets are realistic and evocative. Some, such as parlors and ballrooms glitter like the jewels of their occupants, while others, like public taverns and "clubs", can be grimy with pipe smoke, ale, and mutton.

The story is one of hidden identity, of unsung heroism, illusion, and danger......risk and reward, of good men doing what's necessary to save doomed people. It's also a moving love story.

Central in all of this is Sir Percy Blakeney (Leslie Howard in his finest screen role). He is a Fop in the extreme. He poses, he prances, and he eternally fusses with his attire. Are his cuffs properly ruffled, so that when he takes snuff, "it's a swallows flight"? Neckwear is another preoccupation of Sir Percy's.... he even uses this obsession in one of the film's wittiest lines, "A man who can't tie his own cravat isn't likely to put a noose around the Pimpernel's neck, is he?" But, the paradox of course is that Sir Percy, his wife not even knowing, is the bane of the French Revolutionists, the Scarlet Pimpernel. He and his followers make repeated and risky trips across the English Channel to rescue those they can from the fate of the guillotine. This charade of Sir Percy's is the core of much of the film's hilarious moments. But it's easy for this movie to take quick turns from humor to grim seriousness.

The love interest is the International beauty Merle Oberon, who is showcased exquisitly. She has developed a contempt for her foppish husband and his silliness, as she desperately tries to save her brother's life by trying to discover the true identity of the Pimpernel for villain Raymond Massey. She idealizes the Pimpernel who she often contrasts to her nit-wit husband, but as he tells her (and with some moment), "It's dangerous to fall in love with a phantom, m'dear. For all you know he's a married man who is deeply in love with his wife."

There is adventure and romance. A must see movie.




21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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