The Scarlet Pimpernel

( 34 )

Overview

Swordplay, secret messages, and the rustle of ballroom finery make this 1982 adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel a gala bash. Anthony Andrews heads the cast as English nobleman Sir Percy Blakeney, a conceited but amusing fop in the drawing rooms of British high society. But beneath his veneer of lacy impertinence is a man of bravado and derring-do. In disguise, he becomes the Pimpernel -- ta-da! -- and steals into France to rescue aristocrats condemned to the guillotine during the French Revolution. After each ...
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Overview

Swordplay, secret messages, and the rustle of ballroom finery make this 1982 adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel a gala bash. Anthony Andrews heads the cast as English nobleman Sir Percy Blakeney, a conceited but amusing fop in the drawing rooms of British high society. But beneath his veneer of lacy impertinence is a man of bravado and derring-do. In disguise, he becomes the Pimpernel -- ta-da! -- and steals into France to rescue aristocrats condemned to the guillotine during the French Revolution. After each rescue, he leaves behind a scarlet pimpernel, a flower whose petals close at the approach of stormy weather. He also uses a signet ring engraved with a scarlet pimpernel to identify himself on the sealing wax of letters to compatriots. It is all jolly-good intrigue. Because he cloaks his schemes in great secrecy, not even his new wife Marguerite Jane Seymour realizes he is anything more than an innocuous dandy. Frustrated, the French send the ruthless Chauvelin Ian McKellen to England to serve as ambassador and ferret out the elusive Pimpernel. In a plot that ensnares Marguerite and closes the Pimpernel's petals, Chauvelin finally confronts his clever adversary, and it's en garde -- parry and thrust!
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
In this rousing romp of a film, Anthony Andrews plays the dual role of Sir Percy Blakeney and the Scarlet Pimpernel with gusto and panache. As Percy he is a conceited coxcomb who wears lacy cravats and recites poetry. As the Pimpernel, he is a daring hero who rescues French nobles in the age of the guillotine. For fans of swashbuckling intrigue, his schizoid shenanigans make for rambunctious fun and frolic. He is, in short, a pip of a Pimpernel. Portraying his adversary, the dastardly Chauvelin, is Ian McKellen. Unaware of the identity of the Pimpernel, he travels to England in the capacity of ambassador to skulk and lurk -- and McKellen is a master in this regard -- in an attempt to unmask his clever foe. His plot involves Percy's wife, the beautiful Marguerite, portrayed with elegance and charm by Jane Seymour. Secret meetings and a climactic sword fight ensue, but not before director Clive Donner gives the viewers a taste of the haut monde: colorful costumes, period music, and ballroom repartee with a zing, thanks to scriptwriter William Bast. Authentic English settings include Blenheim Palace, Broughton Castle, Milton Manor, and Ragley Hall.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/2/2013
  • UPC: 054961893195
  • Original Release: 1982
  • Source: Acorn Media
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Color
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:16:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 76

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Seymour Marguerite
Anthony Andrews Scarlet Pimpernel/Sir Percy Blakeney
Ian McKellen Chauvelin
James Villiers Baron de Baats
Eleanor David Louise
Malcolm Jamieson Armand
Dennis Lili Count de Tournay
Richard Morant Robespierre
Julian Fellowes The Prince Regent
Timothy Carlton Count de Beaulieu
David Gant Fouquet
John Quarmby Ponceau
Gordon Gostelow Duval
Carol Macready Mme. Duval
Tracey Childs Suzanne
Joanna Dickens Aunt Lulu
Dominic Jephcott Sir Andrew Ffoulkes
Christopher Villiers Lord Anthony Dewhurst
Geoffrey Toone Marquis de St. Cyr
Sean Mathias Dispatcher
Daphne Anderson Lady Grenville
Tony Caunter Pochard
Nick Brimble Bibot
Mark Drewry Lord Timothy Hastings
Barrie Houghton Executioner
Kate Howard Countess de Beaulieu
Richard Charles The Dauphin
Preston Lockwood Duke
Derek Deadman Handler
Martin Wyldeck Marquess
Ann Firbank Countess de Tournay
Technical Credits
Clive Donner Director
William Bast Screenwriter
Nick Bicât Score Composer
Robert Cobert Score Composer
David Conroy Producer
Tony Curtis Production Designer
Phyllis Dalton Costumes/Costume Designer
Dennis C. Lewiston Cinematographer
Rose Tobias Shaw Casting
Mark Shelmerdine Executive Producer
Peter Tanner Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Scarlet Pimpernel
1. Paris, 1792
2. Armand and Marguerite
3. Enemy of the Republic
4. Return to England
5. The De Tournay Family
6. The Wedding
7. His Highness's Garden Party
8. Blackmail
9. Grenville's Ball
10. The Library at Midnight
11. Rescue Plans
12. Noblesse Oblige
13. Mont St. Pierre
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Scarlet Pimpernel
   Play Feature
   Scene Selection
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The scarlet Pimps Review

    The 1984 movie version of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is not an accurate representation of Baroness Orczy’s original work. The movie focuses on a totally different main importance then the book. Saving people from the guillotine seemed to be over shadowed by the romance between Sir’ Percy and marguerite. Even when The Scarlet Pimpernel was saving people from the guillotine it was not true to the book in that different disguises and plots were used. I believe this romance was added to the movie to make it more typical of a current movie and to be more appealing to today’s standards. The way the book was written and the 1934 movie version of the scarlet pimpernel are simply to boring for today’s movie watchers and would not sell. The only way the movie did relate to the book was the setting and the title. Another thing incorporated into the movie was the use of humor which was not as present in the book but did give the movie a nice flair. Also the actions and appearances of the characters seemed to be a little exaggerated, used more to humor the audience then to give an accurate description of what the characters looked like. Although the movie wasn’t true to the book I liked the movie better. I guess I am the typical movie watcher and would rather be entertained than be bored just so it is exactly like the book. So all in all if you are out to see a good movie I highly recommend it, but if you want an accurate representation of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” then the movie would do justice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great depiction of Baroness Orcz's works plus a glimpse at the French revolution

    This has always been a favorite movie of mine. I enjoy the escapades of the Scarlet Pimpernell and his men. It is also a great love story.

    I would not let children watch it due to the violent nature of the French revolution and the guillotine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Scarlet

    I just saw this recently, and I really really enjoyed it. I haven't read the book--yet-- however, this film was incredibly enjoyable, and Anthony Andrews does a fanTAStic job. He does his job as Percy beautifully, and he was just a fantastic character in general. I really enjoyed this movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Leslie Howard Was Much Better

    Bad dialogue, poor script, awful "inspirational" music... supposedly French aristocrats speaking with English accents.... this was an agony to watch. Poor Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews: they tried. But this movie is so poorly crafted even Ian McKellen can't save it. Those seeking a movie adaption of Baroness Orczy's book "The Scarlet Pimpernel" would do well to seek out the 1934 version with Leslie Howard in the title role. Or better yet, read the original novel, itself.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Really good movie

    this is a really really good movie and i recommend the books as well!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    This is one of the all-time great movies. Have watched it severa

    This is one of the all-time great movies. Have watched it several times. I feel each member of the cast is perfect for the part. Carefully and well scripted. I love it. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    Wonderful movie!

    We were a little taken back at first by the Chinese and the subtitle situation but all went well. Watched it in English, no voice or voice sync issues just an English movie with subtitle options. It is just the best since we love the book and all versions of the movie itself.

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  • Posted December 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    Didn't read the book? Doesn't matter. This is certainly not one of those poor adaptations that are so confusing to anyone who did not read the book first. Nor is it completely faithful to the novel in its portrayal of all the characters and situations. Nevertheless, I found it very appealing and enjoyable. I think the spirit of the novel was captured, if a bit more romanticized. The cast did a wonderful job. This version is much superior to the A&E version. I recommend it anyone who enjoys period pieces, romance, intrigue, costumed heroes - you name it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sink Me!

    I love this movie. I was so excited to find it at Barns&Nobles one day. Anthony Andrews is hystarical and there is a nice fencing scene between him and Ian McKellen.
    A classic movie I will for sure watch again and again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Baroness would be pleased

    This is the only version of The Scarlet Pimpernel that I've seen, so I've nothing to offer in comparison. The costumes, though, are beautiful to see, the acting great fun to watch. The perspective, as one might imagine, is from the nobility's point of view, so none of them are guilty of excesses or abuse of power, but one doesn't watch this for historical accuracies. The 18th century view of Paris in its glory and terror, Seymour's confidence in her own beauty, and Anthony Andrews' ability to be at once silly and heroic are worth your time. "Sink me," but it's fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Heroism in Fashion

    Curious use of fashion as a cover for the likes of the scarlett pimpernel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Absolute Favorite

    This is one of my favorite movies ever. I love how this turns and twists and keeps you right there all the while awaiting inevitable romance. The wit and humor is wonderful in this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Completely Charming

    This is my favorite version of the Pimpernel movies. I have watched my VHS so many times that it won't play anymore. It is not a visual representation of the book(s). If you want a story perfectly "true to the book" I suggest you go read the book! Perhaps this version is not the non-stop action thriller that we are used to today, but it is a truly charming rendition that I will continue to enjoy far into the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Scarlet Pimpernel of an Alternate Universe!

    I was primed for the movie! I had just seen (for the umpteenth time) the 1930's version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. I was looking for a longer version that was a bit truer to the original novel. Trust me. This is not it! Basically, the only thing this had in common with the plot of the book was the title and the setting. I have no clue what story the writers were telling, but it wasn't the Scarlet Pimpernel. To top it off, Jane Seymour's hair scared me. It resembled Elsa Lanchester's in "The Bride of Frankenstein" and had me riveted in every scene she was in. Ian McKellen, as the villain Chauvelin, was the most likeable character in the movie and to top it off, the music was inane and annoying. I titled this review "alternate universe", because in this film, the Dauphin of France (who is nowhere to be found in the original story) is saved and taken to Austria. So to add to the disappointment, they throw in confusion and a bit of revisionist history. Totally disappointing! The Howard/ Oberon/Massey version is a thousand times better! I fear Baroness Orczy is rolling over in her grave. My search continues!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buy the 1934 Version

    The 1982 version stinks. The 1934 is MUCH better. I ordered both movies and started to watch the 1982 version and had to quit. It was that stupid. I then watched the 1934 version and loved it. The 1982 film focuses primarily on Percy and Marguerite and their relationship. BORING! The 1934 film jumps into action! Anthony Andrews is no Trevor Howard and Ian McKellon in no way compares to Raymond Massey as Chauvelin. If you only have one "Scarlet Pimpernel" to watch, pick the 1934 film.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A wonderful epic and romantic adventure

    Even if the film is long ( more than two hours)it is so full of charm, wit and twisted plots that I did not see the time go on. I did not yet read the books, I probably will. A very smart film to share with the family. A little problem: it is not close captionned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply wonderful

    At my High School, all tenth grade history students are exposed to this movie. Since then, everyone has been trying to get their hands on it. I adore this video, and I am so glad it is finally out on DVD. My sister and I have watched it over and over again, we both love it. And what isn't to love? It has action, romance, intrigue, and you never know how he's going to get people out next. It's like a Zorro movie with Ocean's 11 caliber schemes. A must see for everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They Seek Him Everywhere

    'The Scarlet Pimpernel', set in Revolutionary France & England, is one of those classic 19th century novels literary lovers treasure. While it has been filmed may times in the past. this is cinematic telling is the most 'stylish'. The cast is absolutely superb, the costumes (& disguises) gorgeous, the action robust. If you have wondered what a scarlet pimpernel really is or whether someone could ever be as foppish as Sir Peter Blakney, then it's time for you, like 'Those Frenchies' to 'seek him everywhere'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best!

    The passion that Andrews and Seymour put into their characters is amazing, I've rarely seen better character development. The dialog is witty and fun, the story-line is retold superbly and there is very little lacking. Much better than the other versions, I have been looking for this on DVD for YEARS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Romantic, romantic, romantic!

    This movie has it all! Romance, action, drama, comedy. You will fall in love with the characters! I have been waiting for this on DVD for years! Thank you Barnes and Noble for offering Reserve copies! It will be gone before people realize it was on sale!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews