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The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Actors: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers, Eleanor David
Director: Clive Donner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Television
UR     2004     2hr 22min

The swashbuckling classic comes to rip-roaring life in this lavish production, filled with breathless romance and derring-do! In the eyes of high society, Sir Percy Blakeney (Brideshead Revisited's Anthony Andrews) is a ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers, Eleanor David
Director: Clive Donner
Creators: Dennis C. Lewiston, Peter Tanner, David Conroy, Mark Shelmerdine, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, William Bast
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Television
Sub-Genres: Swashbucklers, Espionage, Indie & Art House, Television
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Original Release Date: 11/09/1982
Theatrical Release Date: 11/09/1982
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 22min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 80
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Elizabeth B. (bethieof96) from NINETY SIX, SC
Reviewed on 6/8/2013...
This is a very very good movie. What more can I say. I have watched it several times and I never tire of it. Reminds me some of A Tale of 2 cities. 5 stars.
Christa B. from EL CAJON, CA
Reviewed on 3/2/2010...
I hadn't seen this movie a good many years and was not disappointed when I watched it again. The story provides intrigue, romance, suspense, and action. It centers around a man increasing in renown during the French revolution known as the Scarlet Pimpernel who time and again thwarts the efforts to kill certain aristocrats. The young dauphin is the next person whom he and his men seek to save, but when his wife (who does not know that her husband is the illusive Pimpernel) is approached and blackmailed into joining the Revolutionists efforts dangers and distrust deepens.

Movie Reviews

Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 07/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My sister has raved about this film for as long as I can remember. When I failed to find it in our local video store, she told me not to worry, as she had recently bought it and would lend it to me. Well, having now seen the film, I can understand why she raved about it. It is a vastly entertaining film, filled with a smattering of history, swashbuckling action, political intrigue, romance, and droll humor. Couple all this with some very good acting and direction, and one has a must-see period piece. It is historical fiction brought to life.Based loosely upon the novels of Baroness Orczy, the Scarlet Pimpernel is the hero of beleaguered eighteenth century French aristocrats. The Scarlet Pimpernel dedicates himself to rescuing aristocrats that, in the Republic of the post-revolution era, are destined to lose their heads in the feeding frenzy engendered by the minions of Robespierre. Just who the Scarlet Pimpernel is, the French have not a clue, other than he is believed to be an Englishman. The viewer, however, is on the secret of his identity from the very beginning.Anthony Andrews plays the extremely foppish dandy, Sir Percy Blakeney, who is about as blue blooded as one can be and live. He is also the wealthiest man in all of England. Given to amusing his fellow aristocrats with bons mots, he also devises entertaining rhyming couplets about the Scarlet Pimpernel. Speaking in a highly affected voice and sporting the latest in fashionable attire, Sir Percy is a seemingly unlikely action hero. Yet, it is he who rescues those who are destined to lose their heads to the dreaded guillotine. It is he who is the Scarlet Pimpernel. Since the Scarlet Pimpernel is putting a crimp into the post-revolution blood bath, the feared Chauvelin (Ian McKellen), an ardent revolutionist and hatchet man for Robespierre, seeks to capture him. Chauvelin has a soft side, however, as he is profoundly in love with Marguerite St. Just (Jane Seymour), the premier actress of France and one of its most celebrated beauties. Unfortunately for him, however, Sir Percy has just met Marguerite and been smitten. When Sir Percy romantically woos and wins the heart of Marguerite, she consents to marry him, not knowing that he is the Scarlet Pimpernel. When she marries Sir Percy, Chauvelin stops at nothing to exact his revenge, and his actions eventually cause a rift in the marriage.What happens to Sir Percy, Marguerite, and Chauvelin is well worth seeing. Anthony Andrews is utterly charming, romantic, and drolly funny in his dual role as the dandified fop/dashing action hero who is in love with the prettiest girl in town. Jane Seymour is perfect as the beautiful thespian who captures the heart of a wealthy aristocrat, only to find, in the end, that she has married a romantic hero. Ian McKellen is effective as the angst ridden Chauvelin, who has had his heart pierced by Cupid's arrow.This is a wonderful film. Now, having seen it on video, I am eagerly awaiting its release on DVD, so as to add it to my personal collection. It is a film that one can enjoy watching again and again."
Magnificent and flawless adventure, romance, and intrigue.
Robert A. Woodley | Toledo, OH USA | 03/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... It's not only a superb story; but it's full of scenes which are worth watching again and again for the pure enjoyment of the dialogue, acting, and scenery. The Scarlet Pimpernel is an English noble who rescues French aristocrats from the murderous reign of terror Robespierre unleashed in France. In "real life" he is a dandified, seemingly idiotic and obsessively fastidious "wimp"; whom everyone regards as wholly incompetent (though incredibly rich); but actually he is a daring, dashing adventurer, incredibly intelligent man who might have been the fictional ancestral concept of Clark Kent and Superman. Anthony Andrews is utterly magnificent in this film. His performance as Percy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)is flawless, and eclipses even the incredible beauty and acting of Jane Seymour, who is also superb in every manner. Ian McKellan is a great villain. The music is very good; the cinematography beautiful, and the story is non-stop action, romance, and adventure, as we see how this amazing character saves aristocrats and falls in love; as the plot moves towards his attempt to save the heir to the throne of France. He is so enjoyable to watch as the foppish Percy that the film contains humor as well as suspense, intrigue, and danger. For some reason I've never read this novel; but I will surely do so; and frankly, from a pure enjoyment point of view, this is one of the best 25 or so films I've ever seen. I can't recommend it highly enough; and hope to find it on DVD someday. It's not only a film worth seeing; it's a film worth owning. Sink me; if that's not the truth."
Why are you just sitting there? Go rent it, you codfish!
Mari Sutien | Los Angeles, California (unfortunately) | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is stunning, spectacular film, full of adventure, intrigue, romance, espionage, beautiful sets, costumes, music, and *incredible* acting. I have watched it over and over and over, and I'm still not remotely tired of it. Anthony Andrews makes a splendid, heart-throbbingly heroic Pimpernel; he is at his chivalrous, romantic best in this role. The contrast between his fop mask and his true daring self are amazing; I adored the scene when he reveals his identity to Armand St. Just. His wooing of Marguerite in the beginning is wonderful (guys, take heed; this is how to win the girls!), and his struggle between his love and his loyalty to the league when he believes she's betrayed him makes me sniffle every time. Jane Seymore makes a wonderful Marguerite; her impulsiveness, her intelligence, her grace, her beauty, and her abiding adoration for Percy are completely beleivable. Sir Ian makes an excellant Chauvelin. Though this character was hardly recognisable as the book's Chauvelin, I thought every last change was an improvement. This Chauvelin was far more multi-dimensional; his hatred for Percy made sense when the love triangle was added. In fact, I felt very sorry for him when he is so humiliated in the last scene; it was less than he deserved, even if he did try to kill Percy. But his love for Marguerite and his slow corruption added an interesting side-plot.With lots of derring-do, chivalry, humor, excellent fencing and a few pretty good kisses, this it truly a movie for everyone (I repeat, *everyone*, not just girls) to see. So haul yourself away from the computer this instant and go rent it!"