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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 7 February 1935 (USA)
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 ... 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)
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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

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

Percy Blakeney refers to one of the boxers as "Mendoza", a reference to Daniel Mendoza, the 18th-century British Jew who revolutionized boxing. Mendoza was the heavyweight champion of England (1792-5), despite being a middleweight. See more »

Goofs

The jailer who tells Chauvelin about the Le Lion d'Or has his arms folded in one shot and then by his side in the next. 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 Pimpernel Svensson (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music and lyrics by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played during the opening credits
Reprised by singing citizens
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Those Frenchies Seek Him Everywhere."
25 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

There are some including previous reviewers here who would argue that The Scarlet Pimpernel afforded Leslie Howard his finest screen role. I wouldn't argue the point.

This Pimpernel guy, a sort of English Zorro/Lone Ranger is one tricky fellow. He's declared his own private war on the French Revolution and while not prancing about Regency society, he's over in France rescuing as many aristocrats as he can from Madame Guillotine.

Like Zorro in order to throw off suspicion, Sir Percy Blakeney affects the guise of a fop so that no one will think him capable of anything bold. Unlike Don Diego De La Vega, Blakeney's a married man, married to a French woman played by Merle Oberon who has her own dirty little secrets she's keeping.

Come to think of Don Diego and Sir Percy were operating in roughly the same period.

There's a guy named Chauvelin who's got a mission from the head guy at the Revolution, Robespierre himself. Bring back the Scarlet Pimpernel to face Revolutionary justice or you will. That's one great incentive.

Raymond Massey is a ruthless hunter as Chauvelin. And he believes in his mission. As another reviewer quite plainly put it Massey well remembers all the excesses that the aristocrats indulged in for centuries. He's pretty good too, but Leslie Howard is a tad better.

Leslie Howard is one of those players you can listen to and never be bored. He had that marvelous ability to make some of the most trite dialog sound like Shakespeare. As did his fellow British players Ronald Colman and Robert Donat. No one ever played the jaded world weary soul quite the way Howard did, whether it was Alan Squire, Ashley Wilkes or Percy Blakeney.

The Scarlet Pimpernel after over 70 years holds up well as classic entertainment. No one, but a jaded regency fop could not like this film.


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