The Scarlet Pimpernel/Return Of The Scarlet Pimpernel [DVD]
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Double bill of swashbucklers based on the novels by Baroness Orczy. The 1937 version of 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' stars Leslie Howard as Sir Percy Blakeney, the foppish Englishman despised by his wife Marguerite (Merle Oberon) for his self-indulgence and indifference as French aristocrats are being put to the guillotine. Little does she know that Sir Percy is in fact the dashing Scarlet Pimpernel, saviour of the French aristocracy. However, when Sir Percy departs for his latest mission, his life is placed in peril as the French Ambassador, Chauvelin (Raymond Massey), discovers his secret. Barry K Barnes takes over the lead role in the 1937 sequel, 'The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel'. This time, the Pimpernel's wife Marguerite (played in the sequel by Sophie Stewart) has been kidnapped to set the trap for him, forcing Sir Percy to go to France to save her.
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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.
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.
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