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'Pimpernel' Smith (1941)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  28 July 1941 (UK)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 762 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 2 critic

Professor Horatio Smith, while seeming very unassuming, rescues victims of Nazi persecution during World War II.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Anatole De Grunwald) , (original story) (as A. G. Macdonell) , 5 more credits »
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Title: 'Pimpernel' Smith (1941)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Allan Jeayes ...
Peter Gawthorne ...
Ernest Butcher ...
Weber
Ben Williams ...
Graubitz
...
Professor Horatio Smith
Arthur Hambling ...
Jordan
Joan Kemp-Welch ...
School-Teacher
Hugh McDermott ...
David Maxwell (as Hugh Macdermott in opening credits)
Manning Whiley ...
Bertie Gregson
Philip Friend ...
Spencer
Basil Appleby ...
Jock MacIntyre
Laurence Kitchin ...
Clarence Elstead (as Lawrence Kitchen)
...
Steve
Mary Brown ...
Girl Student
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Dean
Edit

Storyline

It is mid-1939 and both Germany and England are preparing for an inevitable conflict. Professor Horatio Smith, an effete academic, asks his students to come with him to the continent to engage in an archaeological dig. When his students discover that the professor is the man responsible for smuggling a number of enemies of the Nazi state out of Germany, they enthusiastically join him in his fight. But things are complicated when one of his students brings a mysterious woman into their circle, a woman who is secretly working for the Gestapo. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Leslie Howard in his greatest role since "Pygmalion"! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 July 1941 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mister V  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System) (at D & P Studios Denham · · · England)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Professor Smith describes himself as a lifelong bachelor, and professes his undying love of Aphrodite Kallipygos, a statue in the collection of the Cambridge University Museum of Antiquities, where Professor Smith is professor of Anthropology. Smith professes to have discovered the statue on the Isle of Lesbos, a real Greek island, also legendary in Lesbian culture. This may have been an opaque reference, by the writers, to the perception or reality of the foppish Smith being gay, which was a taboo subject, and never could have been mentioned directly in a movie made in 1941. See more »

Goofs

At the reception in the English embassy, Professor Smith misquotes Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. He mispronounces "borogoves" in the third line of the poem as "borogroves". See more »

Quotes

Graubitz: Gentlemen, please. Gentlemen. The Minister of Propaganda instructs me to inform all foreign correspondents that rumors of a mysterious personage helping enemies of the state to escape from Germany are without foundation. We can assure you there have been no such escapes and there is no such rescuer. Furthermore, in Nazi Germany no one can hope to be saved by anybody.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Berlin Spring 1939 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Passagem por Lisboa (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
fictional heroes join the war effort
17 April 1999 | by (new jersey, usa) – See all my reviews

Concerning this film, I can't decide if my soft spot is for the always superb Leslie Howard, or for one of the old heroes of literature, resurrected to fight the nazi menace. This is a clever update of the Scarlet Pimpernel story. I found this re-incarnation of the classic much more enjoyable than the original. It was even more fun than another personal favorite, Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, who came back in the 1940's to do his bit for king and country against the Third Reich.

Albeit, very light fair, films like this were more to entertain and keep spirits high in not so certain times. The horrors of war can be looked back upon, but to push onward, the propaganda of the day was to show the enemy as almost comical foes, outwitted by the ever sensible Englishman. Leslie Howard plays this role beautifully and it remains one of my favorite performances by him...


12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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