7.4/10
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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

Writer:

Baroness Emmuska Orczy (by) (as The Baroness Orczy)
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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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 12, 1938 with Leslie Howard reprising his film role. Olivia de Havilland performed with him after having just filmed Gone with the Wind (1939) together. 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

Lady Marguerite Blakeney: Oh but Percy, through me, a good, a generous man my lose his life. Oh Percy, what can I do? How can I warn him?
Percy Blakeney: Warn him? Against what?
Lady Marguerite Blakeney: Against the danger if he goes back to France.
Percy Blakeney: Well, if he's the kind of lunatic I take him to be, your warning's not going to stop him.
Lady Marguerite Blakeney: But he might be going to his death.
Percy Blakeney: That's all the fellow lives for. Besides, he doesn't know you're in love with him.
Lady Marguerite Blakeney: I'm not in love with him! I admire his head of wisdom, but I'm not in love with him.
Percy Blakeney: Oh, but you are. It's a ...
See more »

Connections

Version of Pimpernel Svensson (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

The Comical Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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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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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