6.3/10
398
3 user 4 critic

The Fighting Pimpernel (1950)

The Elusive Pimpernel (original title)
Trailer
1:25 | Trailer
A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.

Writers:

(romance) (as Baroness Orczy), | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gone to Earth (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful, superstitious, animal-loving Gypsy is hotly desired by a fox-hunting squire...even after she marries a clergyman.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Hour of Glory (1949)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the Germans drop explosive booby-traps on Britain in 1943, the embittered expert who'll have to disarm them fights a private battle with alcohol.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron
Honeymoon (1959)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Australian famer Kit Kelly and his new bride Anna are driving through Europe when they help a stranded motorist. They discover he is Antonio, a famous dancer. Upon learning that Anna was a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Anthony Steel, Ludmilla Tchérina, Antonio
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A re-editing of Gone to Earth (1950) after a disagreement and court case between director Michael Powell and producer David O. Selznick. Selznick's changes are mainly:- (1) Adding a ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Die Fledermaus" (The Bat) is the pseudonym adopted by Dr Falke. Floating on the buoyant waltzes of Strauss, this Viennese romp is sure to please. Disguises, tricks and every kind of ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Anthony Quayle, Anton Walbrook, Dennis Price
Night Ambush (1957)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Grenadier Guards Captain John Fellowes prepares for the Trooping the Colour ceremony and reminisces about his years at Sandhurst Military Academy as well as his family's dramatic life.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Daniel Massey, Raymond Massey, Robert Stephens
Casino Royale (1967)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In an early spy spoof, aging Sir James Bond comes out of retirement to take on SMERSH.

Directors: Val Guest, Ken Hughes, and 4 more credits »
Stars: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Nino Culotta is an Italian immigrant who arrived in Australia with the promise of a job as a journalist on his cousin's magazine, only to find that when he gets there the magazine's folded,... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Walter Chiari, Claire Dunne, Chips Rafferty
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Nazi anti-aircraft fire damages a British bomber, its crew bails out and seeks help from the Dutch underground.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price
The Volunteer (1944)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After a masterful performance as Othello in a London theater, Ralph Richardson is asked for an autograph by Fred, his dresser. A short while later, Fred has joined the Fleet Air Arm (Fly ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Pat McGrath, Anna Neagle
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sir Percy Blakeney / The Scarlet Pimpernel
... Marguerite Blakeney
... Chauvelin
... Prince of Wales / Footpad attacking Lord Anthony
... Contesses de Tournai
Gérard Nery ... Philippe de Tournai
... Suzanne de Tournai
Edmond Audran ... Armand St. Juste
Charles Victor ... Colonel Winterbotham
... Captain Merieres
David Oxley ... Captain Duroc
Raymond Rollett ... Bibot
Philip Stainton ... Jellyband
... The Abbot
Robert Griffiths ... Trubshaw
Edit

Storyline

A British aristocrat goes in disguise to France to rescue people from The Terror of the guillotine.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They seek him here, they seek him there. Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he is Heaven or in Hell? That demmed, elusive pimpernel. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fighting Pimpernel  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although filmed in 1949, the movie did not have a US release until 1954. See more »

Quotes

Marguerite Blakeney: Are we really free, Percy?
Sir Percy Blakeney: Not you, my darling. Chauvelin said that you would be free the moment that I die. Not a moment sooner.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Scarlet Pimpernel (1917) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A lesser Pimpernel
15 April 2018 | by See all my reviews

Baroness Emma Orczy's "The Scarlet Pimpernel" is one of those stories that seem to attract actors, directors and producers to want to make it again and again. The story was first produced as a 1905 stage play in London, even before the novel was published. The huge success of the play and subsequent book inspired Orczy to write several sequel novels. Most of these in time were made into films. The first films were silent productions in 1917 and 1919. Then, in 1934, London Film Productions made the first sound film. That remains the model with which to compare all film remakes since.

Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon and Raymond Massey headed the superb cast of the 1934 film. The screenplay, filming, sets and scenes were outstanding. The quality of that black and white masterpiece hasn't faded these many decades later. Of all the remakes for the silver screen and TV, only one is equal to the sound original. That's the splendid 1982 film, "The Scarlet Pimpernel," made by the same company.

The 1982 movie is in color and has a cast equal to the first film. Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen give superb performances. The screenplay in this version delves more into Percy's time in Paris and the love and marriage of Percy and Marguerite at the beginning of the French Revolution. Otherwise, both films give considerable screen time to some of the many clever ways that Sir Percy had for freeing and smuggling prisoners out of France. Especially good are the disguises that heroes don in each of these films. The audience gets to see them change, and it's a good look at how one can change one's physical appearance and not be recognized. I had to strain to see the two actors in their various makeups. So, it's understandable how disguises can work so well when those being fooled aren't folks who know the disguised person well.

In between and after the two excellent movies, there have been a number of remakes for the movie theaters and for TV. None comes close to matching the outstanding 1934 and 1982 films.

This film, "The Elusive Pimpernel" (aka, "The Fighting Pimpernel"), is one of those other films. After the 1934 success, it took 16 years before someone got the itch or courage to attempt a film remake. London Films again did the job. But, a new bevy of actors was there from which to pluck a new Percy and others. They mostly were stage and screen stars who were young wannabe stars at the time of the 1934 film. So, one can understand a David Niven, Margaret Leighton and Cyril Cusack wanting to tackle the Pimpernel story. And, of course, London Films would always like to have another hit on its hands.

But, such was not the case with this remake. It was originally planned as a musical. The producer, director and other backers squabbled over the film from start to finish. David Niven didn't want to do it, and Margaret Leighton was given the female lead against the director's wishes (Michael Powell). Samuel Goldwyn and Alexander Korda were at odds. The finished product is very rough with holes in places and poor editing and splicing in other places. The film seems to have bombed in the UK, barely earning 25 percent of its cost (£477,000) at the box office.

Still, this is the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the film has some of the intrigue and a little action of the original. Leighton's part is very minimal and almost blasé. But Niven seems to have put some energy and effort into his role as Sir Percy Blakeney. So, this 1950 Pimpernel isn't a total wash. For the few good acting efforts, and for Madame Orczy's story, it gets six stars.

Here are some favorite lines from the film.

Prince of Wales, "Damn it, Percy. You may be brainless, spineless and useless, but, uh, ha, you do know clothes."

Sir Percy Blakeney, "The hours past are numbered against us."

Marguerite Blakeney, "Are we really free, Percy? Sir Percy Blakeney, "Not you, my darling. Chauvelin said that you would be free the moment that I die. Not a moment sooner."


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed