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The Scarlet Pimpernel [DVD]


Price: £19.99
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The Scarlet Pimpernel [DVD] + The Scarlet Pimpernel/Return Of The Scarlet Pimpernel [DVD] + The Count Of Monte Cristo [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers, Eleanor David
  • Directors: Clive Donner
  • Writers: Baroness Emmuska Orczy, William Bast
  • Producers: David Conroy, Mark Shelmerdine
  • Format: Full Screen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Oracle
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Sep 2001
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004UF0B
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,921 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

An Eighties remake of the classic tale about the elusive 18th Century adventurer. Sir Percy Blakeney (Anthony Andrews), an English fop, is in reality the Scarlet Pimpernel, scourge of the French Revolution and rescuer of the aristocracy from the executioner's guillotine. When he saves Armand St Just from street thugs, he meets and falls in love with Armand's beautiful sister, Marguerite (Jane Seymour). He cannot, however, reveal his true identity to her.

From Amazon.co.uk

It's tough trying to beat the 1934 version of the popular adventure-romance story, starring Leslie Howard as the 18th-century British hero who poses as a fop in London society but runs a secret mission to rescue the doomed in Robespierre's Paris. But this 1982 television version, starring Anthony Andrews (Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited) as the Pimpernel and Jane Seymour as his beloved but estranged wife, is quite a treat. Andrews and Seymour expertly capture the essence of a relationship suffering from misunderstandings and elusive passion, and there is plenty of crackle to the action sequences. Clive Donner (What's New, Pussycat?) brings some strong cinematic qualities to this television presentation. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Nov 2003
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Powell on 4 Sep 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Clive Donner's 1982 Scarlet Pimpernel is an exciting blend of two Baroness Orczy novels, 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' and 'Eldorado' (written around the supposed rescue of the young Dauphin, when it was still historically unclear whether or not the son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette might have survived the Revolution). Instead of trying to cram every last detail of the main story into the film (as with the 1934 Leslie Howard production), or completely losing all sense of the original template (the 1998 series), this film manages to stay true to the spirit of the books, and pay homage to its black and white predecessor, whilst creatively translating page to screen. This is the only Scarlet Pimpernel version to include Percy's romancing of Marguerite, instead of beginning the story a year into their estranged marriage, and it works well. There is so much to fit into this film - the backstory, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the rescue of the Dauphin, yet the end result is exciting and romantic, and I defy anyone to spot where the different elements have been stitched together, so seamless is the action from one scene to the next!
Chauvelin's obsession with the beautiful Marguerite St Just (Jane Seymour, confidently fitting the description), though not in the books, does not detract from the character - the Revolution still comes first for him, and he is able to recover from his infatuation and blackmail Marguerite into unwittingly betraying her husband. Ian McKellen is undoubtedly the best, most human, and believable Chauvelin to date - his clumsy wooing of Marguerite, his subtle manipulation of Robespierre, and his awkwardness when being forced to dance with Lady Grenville when his mind is on the capture of the Pimpernel, make for an intricate characterisation of the French government agent.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Powell on 23 Jan 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a fairly basic repackaging of the 1982 film - no extras on the DVD, and the book has the same cover as the box design. The quality of the film itself does look to be an improvement on the earlier release, with a slightly cleaner picture (though still with unavoidable scratches and 'pops'), but otherwise it is exactly the same as the 2004 Image Entertainment copy. I would recommend this to anybody who doesn't already have the DVD, as the book will hopefully prompt fans of the film to read the original novel by the Baroness Orczy, but it's not worth buying to try and 'improve' on the previous release. For any other devoted fanatics of the story like myself, it is always useful to have a back-up copy - and well done to London Films for honouring the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film! - but this is nothing new.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shaz on 1 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film on TV recently and had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I then purchased the DVD which came in a box set along with the book. I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it [although like with most films, they differ from the book]. Anthony Andrews makes an excellent Scarlet Pimpernel. The film offers fantastic costumes, the rescues that the Pimpernel carries out and his disguises are excellent and if you are looking for escapism this is definately worth a watch. It's a film I don't think I could tire of. Needless to say you also have the romance aspect of the film too. It's a good all rounder and I rate it highly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Helen on 16 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
I said in my review of the Leslie Howard version that he and Anthony Andrews are each the perfect Sir Percy and only if I was forced to choose would I rate Leslie Howard No.1, simply because he's just a touch better at the English Gentleman/fop/secret adventurer.

This exciting version of the classic story also includes the ElDorado sequel so it's double measures.

When it comes to the villainous Chauvelin, the actor playing the part in the Leslie Howard movie is extremely good as a thuggish bully with a veneer that will get him by in society to someextent, but the Andrews version has the bonus of Ian McKellan as a very sophisticated, more subtle and decidely attractive Chauvelin whom you can well imagine Marguerite would have been interested in as a lover before Sir Percy turned up and stole her heart and through his activities as the Pimpernel revealed to her Chauvelin's devious treachery.

If you want a DVD of this classic adventure, I'd advise you to buy this one and the Leslie Howard version as well.

The TV version with Richard E. Grant is great fun and he makes a charming Sir Percy, but he hasn't quite got the magnetism of Howard and Andrews.
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could I know if this DVD has got English subtitles? 1 10 Feb 2014
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