The Scarlet Pimpernel
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The tumbrels roll through the streets of Paris, carrying enemies of the new French Republic to their appointments with �Madame Guillotine.� But to the revolutionaries� fury, more than a few of France�s hated aristocrats have escaped execution thanks to the actions of a dashing young Englishman known as the Scarlet Pimpernel (Anthony Andrews, Brideshead Revisited). One aristocrat interests him above all the rest, the beautiful Marguerite St. Just (Jane Seymour, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). In his pursuit of Marguerite, he has a dangerous rival, Citizen Chauvelin (Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings, X-Men)�a revolutionary leader charged with tracking down the elusive Pimpernel. Based on the classic novel by Baroness Orczy, this adaptation of the swashbuckling tale aired on CBS and was nominated for three Emmy� Awards, including outstanding drama special.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, for the movie. Anthony Andrews as the foppish/valiant Sir Percy was excellent. I thought he delivered an exceptional performance. I could not find any fault in his performance especially since the book Percy is so inane and a complete idiot...well, at least, his alter ego in any case. At times, it is so amusing to watch him, especially when he tries to undo Chauvelin. **smiles** I cannot say enough about his performance. When he is also conflicted by his love for Maguerite and his cold treatment of her, it is also beautifully done. His expressions are so real. His concern for the families of the aristos adds such a beautiful side to his character as well. You can actually see that he cares.
Jane Seymour as Maguerite was wonderful as well. The chemistry between her and Anthony Andrews was superb. They conveyed so much fire simply by a glance.
Ian Mckellan was also good. I must admit that when I realized he would play the villian that did not sit well with me (I love him as Gandalf but he really looks different out of the wizard's costume), however, it worked out well.
In conclusion, I thought this was a splendid movie. The sets, the music, the dances, etc were all engaging. There was never a dull moment. I actually ordered the film for my mum since I figure she would love it as well. Though I have never seen any of the other versions, I cannot imagine another one uprooting the love I feel for this one. It would be demmed near impossible.
Which breaks my heart, because this version of The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time top ten movies. I'd be rating this with one star if the movie wasn't five-star. Too bad I can't actually see it!
Equally well cast is the dazzling Jane Seymour. Not called upon to deliver the schizophrenic hijinks of Andrews, she instead delivers a compelling portrayal of a woman who joined a revolution for the values upon which it was founded, hewed to those values as the revolution veered into chaos and hideous extremism, and had the courage to stand her ground even as her own neck fell into the noose. When she finally forsakes her stand, it is only to keep those she loves from harm. It's high melodrama, but played with such subtlety that true grand drama emerges.
And so it goes with the other cast members -- all well-chosen, all utterly convincing in telling a tale that is inherently unbelievable . . . and all dressed fit to kill.
I prefer my costume dramas a bit more anchored in historical accuracy than this one so, even though I had bent my principles to accept the premise of the Pimpernal himself, I still expected to be annoyed that the dauphin was rescued. In fact, this film is just too much of a rollicking good time to care about such quibbles. You'll laugh. You'll cry. And you'll play it over and over as the years wear on.
Most recent customer reviews
Everything I wanted it to be. The best version of The Scarlet Pimpernel there is.Published 8 months ago by email@example.com
The storyline although different from the actual book, still made the movie enjoyable. Have been enjoying the VHS version for many years-DVD made it better!Published on Nov. 4 2013 by charlene yoshimaru
My order went very well. Received with no problem. Love this movie. Loved it when I first saw it. If you are new to this you may find it sappy or campy, but if you like historical... Read morePublished on March 19 2011 by Lissa
Them Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in Heaven?
Is he in Hell?
That damned elusive pimpernel. Read more
Period drama is a great look at revolutionary France. Costumes are elaborate and the locations are lush. Fun moments, as well, in between the beheadings. Have a look at this one!Published on May 20 2009 by Faye McConville
This is just an amazing movie! My entire family loves it; guys and girls, young and old. It's always exciting and comical, and even if the end isn't really historically correct,... Read morePublished on April 11 2009 by just a little bookworm