'Pimpernel' Smith (1941)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  28 July 1941 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 815 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 2 critic

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



(screenplay) (as Anatole De Grunwald) , (original story), 5 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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

Director: Harold Young
Stars: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey
Pygmalion (1938)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Shaw's play in which a Victorian dialect expert bets that he can teach a lower-class girl to speak proper English and thus be taken for a lady.

Directors: Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard
Stars: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson
Spitfire (1942)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Aircraft designer/patriot R. J. Mitchell, alarmed at growing German militarism, works to perfect a defense against the German Messerschmidt at the cost of his health.

Director: Leslie Howard
Stars: Leslie Howard, David Niven, Rosamund John
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After two years as a Czarist British agent posing as a Russian Commissar, he rescues a Russian countess from her Bolshevik captors.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat, Irene Vanbrugh
Stand-In (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A former child star falls in love with a stuffy accountant, who wants to learn why his firm's movie studio is losing money.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Blondell
Malta Story (1953)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1942 Britain was clinging to the island of Malta since it was critical to keeping Allied supply lines open. The Axis also wanted it for their own supply lines. Plenty of realistic ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Stars: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during the Second World War.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Allied spies and Nazi agents insinuate themselves at a Scottish cottage (converted to a wartime hospital) with interests on an inventor's nearly perfected bomb sight.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Leslie Banks, Alastair Sim, Jeanne De Casalis
The Scarlet Pimpernel (TV Movie 1982)
Romance | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

During the French Revolution, a mysterious English nobleman known only as The Scarlet Pimpernel (a humble wayside flower), snatches French aristos from the jaws of the guillotine, while ... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

This film tells the stories of seven 'gentle' British girls who decide to "do their bit" and help out during World War II.

Directors: Leslie Howard, Maurice Elvey
Stars: Joan Gates, Jean Gillie, Joan Greenwood
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young American man is transported back to London in the time of the American Revolution and meets his ancestors.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Leslie Howard, Heather Angel, Valerie Taylor


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


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


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


Adventure | Comedy | Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

28 July 1941 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mister V  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Father Leslie Howard and his son Ronald Howard, both appeared in this film together. See more »


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 »


Professor Horatio Smith: [having just dodged the Nazis again] Well, I'm almost ashamed to use that old trick, but it nearly always works.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Berlin Spring 1939 See more »


References The Shadow (1940) See more »


There's A Tavern in the Town
Whistled by Leslie Howard in several scenes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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...

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Scarlet Pimpernel or Pimpernel Smith? roghache
Ronald Howard? ladynarana
Originally Mr V in the US? ganglehog
Discuss 'Pimpernel' Smith (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: