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 »
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 »
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
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...
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