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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

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

Director:

Harold Young

Writers:

Baroness Emmuska Orczy (by) (as The Baroness Orczy), Lajos Biró (scenario, continuity & dialogue) (as Lajos Biro) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Howard ... Sir Percy Blakeney
Merle Oberon ... Lady Blakeney
Raymond Massey ... Chauvelin
Nigel Bruce ... The Prince of Wales
Bramwell Fletcher ... The Priest
Anthony Bushell ... Sir Andrew Ffoulkes
Joan Gardner ... Suzanne de Tournay
Walter Rilla ... Armand St. Just
Mabel Terry-Lewis ... Countess de Tournay
O.B. Clarence O.B. Clarence ... Count de Tournay
Ernest Milton Ernest Milton ... Robespierre
Edmund Breon ... Col. Winterbottom
Melville Cooper ... Romney
Gibb McLaughlin ... The Barber
Morland Graham Morland Graham ... Treadle (the tailor) (as Moreland Graham)
Edit

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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die scharlachrote Blume See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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

Percy Blakeney: I'm in love.
Elderly citizen of Boulogne: It's the wife of another man!
Percy Blakeney: No it's my own.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Fighting Pimpernel (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the King!
(1744) (uncredited)
Attributed to Henry Carey
Whistled and hummed by Leslie Howard
See more »

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User Reviews

A Stirring Movie, very fresh and cheeky.
4 November 1998 | by munson-2See 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.


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