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4.5 out of 5 stars48
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2009
Being a fan of the stories I wanted to add this DVD to my collection and Leslie Howard makes an excellent Pimpernel [although my favourite still has to be Anthony Andrews but Leslie Howard comes a close second]. You easily lose yourself in the film and it is an excellent watch and I would highly recommend it. However, the second DVD, the Return of wasn't so good, poor picture quality [although admittedly the film is very old]and the actor playing the Pimpernel lacked style and charisma - In my opinion he just didn't have what it takes to play the pimpernel. Please don't let that put you off buying this DVD though because the first film certainly makes up for it. Leslie Howard went on to play Pimpernel Smith in a modern day version of the Pimpernel in war time which is an excellent watch too.
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on 30 May 2009
I bought this cd as I wanted the version of the Scarlet Pimpernel featuring Leslie Howard in the leading role, but then Raymond Massey is perfectly cast as Citizen Chuavelin. This is a superb version of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately the 2nd film 'Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel' does not have the same actors in the leading roles and so it falls short of expectations. It is an adequate adaptation.
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on 19 July 2012
This double disc is good value for having two films on one disc but, as with many Network releases, clearly has had no work to improve it's sound or picture. In the second film there are a number of times frames are clearly missing or badly damaged. The second film is the weaker, but it does have a young James Mason who is able to shine brightly with even the smallist of roles. Good fun on a rainy day and still watchable as is but they would be amazing if restored. 4stars for films less 1 for condition.
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on 16 April 2014
Leslie Howard plays a great part as the Scarlet Pimpernel and Merle Oberon, also plays a good part as his beautiful wife in this thrilling battle of wits between the France spy Citizen Chauvelin ,Raymond Massey. who is trying to discover the secret identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. good quality picture =The second film Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel is one i have not seen before and hits a good thrilling sequel Barry k Barnes plays the Scarlet Pimpernel and plays a good part, and his wife played by Sophie Stewart,but she not as good as Merle Oberon ,this time Citizen Chauvelin knows Blakeney is the Pimpernel and has Lady Blakeney kindnapped and snatched away to France, so the pimpernel will have to go to France to save his wife but Chauvelin his waiting with is spies every wear. good entertaining film and excellent picture quality two good entertaining films
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on 16 March 2009
I've seen two actors who played the part of Sir Percy wonderfully - one is Leslie Howard and the other Anthony Andrews in a more recent version. But if I had to choose, I would choose Howard, solely because he's even more haughty than Andrews and his foppishness just a touch better.

The prerequisites for this part are looks and voice. The Pimpernel must be extremely handsome, and his voice must be simply perfect - the deceiving foppish tone and the practical tone of the adventurer. Both these actors have it all!

This is the kind of movie that's so good you soon forget it's b/w. As for the story, no-one surely needs to be told anything about it, it's so wellknown.

I would recommend anyone wanting a movie of this classic tale to not hesitate - buy both these versions.

I can't comment on the second movie on this disk as I haven't yet seen it. But even if it's nowhere near as good as the first, anything with Leslie Howard surely can't be very bad.
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on 15 June 2014
The film, based on the book (or books ) of baroness d'Orzy, is about the Terror period of the French Revolution. This film is from the beginning of the Terror, and the Scarlet Pimpernel is an Englishman, a dandified baronet, faking the mannerisms of a society fop, who is also a master of disguise and saves French aristocrats from the Guillotine. His most dangerous opponent is Chauvelin, head of the French Police, well played by Raymond Massey. Merle Oberon plays the role as Marguerite, the Pimpernels beautiful French wife, torn between different loyalties and misunderstandings.
I bought it because of Leslie Howards performance.
But it is rather a dashing story, and the execution scenes are quite scary enough for me even in black and white.
Recommended.
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on 15 July 2014
I was disappointed with the quality of both films on this DVD. I am surprised that Granada Ventures did not obtain better master material as I have seen better quality prints on TV. In addition The Scarlet Pimpernel had sound sync problems towards the end and The Return of The Scarlet Pimpernel had picture loss in several places although the sound was present. Both films had intermittent lines on the picture during the film.
I would wait until a better quality product possibly re-masterd copy is available.
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VINE VOICEon 25 May 2010
Them Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in Heaven?
Is he in Hell?
That damned elusive pimpernel.

By Sir Percy Blakeney/The Scarlet Pimpernel (Leslie Howard)

It is the French revolution and everone is losing their heads. Sir Percy Blakeney must fake being ridicules and may even lose the love of his life Lady Marguerite Blakeney (Merle Oberon.) This is necessary to save their friends from the guillotine.

How long can he pull this off while right next to hem is Citizen Chauvelin (Raymond Massey) who is trying to track down The Scarlet Pimpernel. He even threatens Marguerite's with the life of her brother to find the pimpernel.

The story, originally a play then a novel has been remade and in some ways improved through the years. However this version will always be the classic that others are measured by.
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on 9 October 2014
Bought this to replace my old VHS copy. The best version ever of a well worn story. Leslie Howard was made for the role and his recital of Shakespeare's 'This England" (Richard II) sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it! Excellent
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on 11 July 2015
Not as I remember perhaps the more modern version would be better . I still have to watch the return, but was a bit disappointed with the Scarlett Pimpernel there was not much intrigue, it all went along too fast.
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