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The Scarlet Pimpernel

4.8 out of 5 stars 644 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

The swashbuckling classic comes to rip-roaring life in this lavish production, filled with breathless romance and derring-do! In the eyes of high society, Sir Percy Blakeney (Brideshead Revisited's Anthony Andrews) is a typical fop, surrounded by adoring ladies and clueless gentry. However, he is also a master of disguise and bears an infamous secret identity: the Scarlet Pimpernel, dashing and fearless rescuer of victims of the French Revolution! Sir Percy also falls head over heels for the beautiful Marguerite (Somewhere in Time's Jane Seymour), who is also wooed by the villainous Paul Chauvelin (The Lord of the Rings' Sir Ian McKellan), Robespierre's Chief Agent for the Committee of National Security. Suave, stylish, and utterly irresistible, this dazzling adventure is sure to capture your heart!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, Ian McKellen, James Villiers, Eleanor David
  • Directors: Clive Donner
  • Writers: Baroness Emmuska Orczy, William Bast
  • Producers: David Conroy, Mark Shelmerdine
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (644 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00016XNQQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,286 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Scarlet Pimpernel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
My sister has raved about this film for as long as I can remember. When I failed to find it in our local video store, she told me not to worry, as she had recently bought it and would lend it to me. Well, having now seen the film, I can understand why she raved about it. It is a vastly entertaining film, filled with a smattering of history, swashbuckling action, political intrigue, romance, and droll humor. Couple all this with some very good acting and direction, and one has a must-see period piece. It is historical fiction brought to life.
Based loosely upon the novels of Baroness Orczy, the Scarlet Pimpernel is the hero of beleaguered eighteenth century French aristocrats. The Scarlet Pimpernel dedicates himself to rescuing aristocrats that, in the Republic of the post-revolution era, are destined to lose their heads in the feeding frenzy engendered by the minions of Robespierre. Just who the Scarlet Pimpernel is, the French have not a clue, other than he is believed to be an Englishman. The viewer, however, is on the secret of his identity from the very beginning.
Anthony Andrews plays the extremely foppish dandy, Sir Percy Blakeney, who is about as blue blooded as one can be and live. He is also the wealthiest man in all of England. Given to amusing his fellow aristocrats with bons mots, he also devises entertaining rhyming couplets about the Scarlet Pimpernel. Speaking in a highly affected voice and sporting the latest in fashionable attire, Sir Percy is a seemingly unlikely action hero. Yet, it is he who rescues those who are destined to lose their heads to the dreaded guillotine. It is he who is the Scarlet Pimpernel.
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Format: VHS Tape
... It's not only a superb story; but it's full of scenes which are worth watching again and again for the pure enjoyment of the dialogue, acting, and scenery.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is an English noble who rescues French aristocrats from the murderous reign of terror Robespierre unleashed in France. In "real life" he is a dandified, seemingly idiotic and obsessively fastidious "wimp"; whom everyone regards as wholly incompetent (though incredibly rich); but actually he is a daring, dashing adventurer, incredibly intelligent man who might have been the fictional ancestral concept of Clark Kent and Superman.
Anthony Andrews is utterly magnificent in this film. His performance as Percy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)is flawless, and eclipses even the incredible beauty and acting of Jane Seymour, who is also superb in every manner. Ian McKellan is a great villain. The music is very good; the cinematography beautiful, and the story is non-stop action, romance, and adventure, as we see how this amazing character saves aristocrats and falls in love; as the plot moves towards his attempt to save the heir to the throne of France. He is so enjoyable to watch as the foppish Percy that the film contains humor as well as suspense, intrigue, and danger.
For some reason I've never read this novel; but I will surely do so; and frankly, from a pure enjoyment point of view, this is one of the best 25 or so films I've ever seen. I can't recommend it highly enough; and hope to find it on DVD someday. It's not only a film worth seeing; it's a film worth owning. Sink me; if that's not the truth.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is stunning, spectacular film, full of adventure, intrigue, romance, espionage, beautiful sets, costumes, music, and *incredible* acting. I have watched it over and over and over, and I'm still not remotely tired of it. Anthony Andrews makes a splendid, heart-throbbingly heroic Pimpernel; he is at his chivalrous, romantic best in this role. The contrast between his fop mask and his true daring self are amazing; I adored the scene when he reveals his identity to Armand St. Just. His wooing of Marguerite in the beginning is wonderful (guys, take heed; this is how to win the girls!), and his struggle between his love and his loyalty to the league when he believes she's betrayed him makes me sniffle every time. Jane Seymore makes a wonderful Marguerite; her impulsiveness, her intelligence, her grace, her beauty, and her abiding adoration for Percy are completely beleivable. Sir Ian makes an excellant Chauvelin. Though this character was hardly recognisable as the book's Chauvelin, I thought every last change was an improvement. This Chauvelin was far more multi-dimensional; his hatred for Percy made sense when the love triangle was added. In fact, I felt very sorry for him when he is so humiliated in the last scene; it was less than he deserved, even if he did try to kill Percy. But his love for Marguerite and his slow corruption added an interesting side-plot.
With lots of derring-do, chivalry, humor, excellent fencing and a few pretty good kisses, this it truly a movie for everyone (I repeat, *everyone*, not just girls) to see. So haul yourself away from the computer this instant and go rent it!
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Format: VHS Tape
This is definitely a wonderful film, as evidenced by its popularity. Unfortunately, Artisan Entertainment has decided to remove it from print! (Gasp!) If you'd like to see it available again, particularly if you'd like to see it released on DVD, please send an email to the nice folks at Artisan Entertainment (orders@artisanent.com) indicating as much. Or call them toll free at 1-877-848-3865. Please specify that you want the 1982 version with Andrews and Seymour. Many requests may be needed to accomplish this objective. Thanks.
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So many excellent movies are made without Closed Captioning or Subtitles!
I like the cc. Sometimes the accents of the characters are so thick, I cannot tell what was said unless I turn on the English cc.
Jul 21, 2008 by Flavah |  See all 3 posts
Ivanhoe-1982 - Anthony Andrews, Olivia Hussey?
It may have something to do with who made the film. Sparkling Cyanide and some of Anthony Andrews other films took a long time to come out on DVD and then closed captioning wasn't on it.
Jul 25, 2008 by Mocha's Mom |  See all 3 posts
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