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'Pimpernel' Smith (1941)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  28 July 1941 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 809 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 »
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Title: 'Pimpernel' Smith (1941)

'Pimpernel' Smith (1941) on IMDb 7.3/10

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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?


The statue known as Aphrodite Kallipygos (also known as the Callipygian Venus), has the literal meaning "Venus (or Aphrodite) of the beautiful buttocks," is an actual Ancient Roman marble statue, which is probably a copy of an even older Greek original, lost to the passages of time, probably made of bronze. 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 »


Jordan: You're late.
Professor Horatio Smith: Late for what?
Jordan: Your lecture, sir.
Professor Horatio Smith: Oh, don't be ridiculous. My lecture isn't till Friday.
Jordan: But today IS Friday, sir.
Professor Horatio Smith: Good heavens. How extraordinary. W-w-what happened to Thursday?
Jordan: We had it yesterday, sir.
Professor Horatio Smith: Did we?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Berlin Spring 1939 See more »


Version of The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999) See more »


There's A Tavern in the Town
Whistled by Leslie Howard in several scenes
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...

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

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