The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

June 3, 2013 Whitney movie review 2 Comments

scarlet pimpernel movie poster 1934

Director: Harold Young
Writers: Baroness Emmuska Orczy (by) (as The Baroness Orczy), Lajos Biró (scenario, continuity & dialogue) (as Lajos Biro)
Stars: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey
Release Date: February 7, 1935

A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine.


Ah, I love the 1934 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel staring Leslie Howard, who I absolutely adore and Merle Oberon, who I am beginning to love in period pieces.  Leslie Howard has just the right amount of flamboyance, not enough to look queer, nor for people to take him seriously and suspect him as the scarlet pimpernel.  Lady Blakeney can get a tad annoying in both the book and the movie, but at the same time must be pardoned for her ignorance in the whole matter.  Merle Oberon does a wonderful execution of her, being a little stuck-up and innocent about her husband’s “going-ons” to caring and intelligent.  Of course you could not have found a better Chavelin than Raymond Massey, who plays the conniving aristocrat to a tee.

2 responses to “The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

  1. Oh I love The Scarlet Pimpernel! I think this is a very charming movie, not my favorite version, but as you say Leslie Howard is very convincing as Percy and the Pimpernel.

  2. I haven't seen this version, but it sounds good; I'll have to Netflix it! In fact, the only film version I've seen is the one with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Sir Ian McKellan, which I love. But I'm also planning to watch the BBC television series version, which I've heard some good things about.

    Have you ever seen the musical? It's been through several iterations. I saw a fantastic production in the round several years ago at Salt Lake City's Hale Theater, and fell in love with the show. Some of the music is really good. You can YouTube a few of the numbers from various Broadway productions, I think.

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