|UK DVD Box Art|
During the Terror of Paris, many members of the aristocracy are sent to the guillotine, but a number of them are saved by someone called The Scarlet Pimpernel. The true identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel is Sir Percival Blakeney, a man who pretends to be a fop (or in other words, a dandy) in order to conceal his identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel. He falls in love with an actress named Marguerite St. Just, the sister of a man that he defended in a fight. Marguerite's "friend", Citizen Chauvelin, wants to become the head of national security and is certain that the capture of the Scarlet Pimpernel will get him the position.
There are some familiar faces in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Sir Percy is played by Anthony Andrews, who can be seen in a couple of episodes of the fifth series of Upstairs Downstairs, Ivanhoe (1982), and even in The King's Speech. Marguerite was played by Jane Seymour, a very well known actress and who can also be seen in Somewhere in Time. Citizen Chauvelin was played by Ian McKellen, who can be seen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And for the Downton Abbey fans, the Prince Regent was played by Downton creator Julian Fellowes.
|Sir Percy Blakeney with his eye glass|
- "You see, I'm a bit of a poet, and you did not know it!"
- "My dear chap, I never would have dreamt of depriving you of your moment of triumph. Alas, a moment was all I could spare."
- "Odd's fish, m'dear. The man cannot even tie his own cravet!"
I had heard on the site IMDB that there were people who said that Jane Seymour couldn't act when she played Marguerite. Frankly, I don't know what they are talking about. I thought she did a great job! You felt sympathy for her when Sir Percy thought that she was the one who turned in Marquis de St. Cyr and his entire family (Spoiler Which, of course, she didn't do intentionally but was set up by Chauvelin End of Spoiler). She had a number of awesome gowns (which, of course, I will talk about later) and she looked very nice throughout the entire movie.
|Citizen Chauvelin with his usual sour expression.|
I did have a small problem with some of the characters (don't hate me!). The French characters didn't sound French; they sounded English. I know there were a bunch that were French, but they didn't sound French. To me, they could have been all English. This is a very small issue and it wouldn't be enough to make me dislike the film, but it was something I noticed.
|Sir Percy and Marguerite going on a picnic, but|
The scenery was very nice -- grand houses and some country side scenes that were nice to look at. However, some scenes featured prisons and the guillotine. But the prison scenes were not too gritty, so you need not worry about that.
Lovely! Lovely costuming! I don't usually comment on men's costuming (since, let's face it, it all tends to be the same), but Sir Percy's outfits were perfect for his character; a lot of lace that would be perfect for a fop. Chauvelin were black throughout the entire movie and no decoration (perfect for a stiff character!). Marguerite had some particularly lovely dresses. Since the story takes place during the 1790s, the fashions were still Georgian, not yet Regency. I don't recall seeing women wearing side hoops that were popular earlier in the era; if that is the case, that would be accurate since side hoops went out of fashion later in the 1700s.
Well sink me, I enjoyed it! It might not be my absolute favorite movie (don't get mad!), but I enjoyed it a lot. It was a very interesting storyline and the good characters were likable (definitely something you want to achieve in a movie or book). There is a number of great costumes (especially Marguerite's) to look at.
Content wise, the film is about PG I would say. There is some suggestive themes, but nothing is graphic. There is also talk of executions (since it was the Terror of Paris), and we do see the guillotine blade come down, but we don't see any blood or anything graphic like that.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is available on DVD (though I cannot seem to find it at a reasonable price on Amazon). It runs for 142 minutes and though unrated, I would say that the content is about PG equivalent.