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The Scarlet Pimpernel Boxed Set
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Those who love the books and want to see an adaptation of the books.
2. Those who loved the 1982 version (with Andrews and Seymour) and want to see more of that.
3. Those interested in seeing the work of Grant, Shaw, Vibert or McGovern.
Group 1 is generally sorely disappointed. This version changes the main character of Percy in ways that will be highly discomforting: he uses minimal disquises, he kills people willy-nilly, he uses Bond-esque gadgets instead of wit and cunning, small things like that. Not to mention, some well loved league members are killed off for no reason. To see a hilarious list of grievances from Group 1 go to: [...]
Group 2 is generally disappointed too. That whole love affair/courtship thing between Percy and Marguerite is missing here. #1 of this DVD starts right off with Percy giving Marguerite the cold shoulder after their marriage. Group 2 is also upset by the change in Percy (that no disguises and murdering bit). And then Elizabeth McGovern is not as beautiful (or animated or witty) as Jane Seymour and many in Group 2 are bothered by that. Group 2 absolutely ADORES Anthony Andrews as Percy, and Grant isn't Andrews.
Group 3 generally really like this DVD set -- especially if they are not burdened by preconceptions of this famous literary story. However, Group 3 is likely to be a little lost in the beginning. Note: Percy and Marguerite were madly in love with each other before getting married (you won't believe this when you see the first DVD, but it's true). On the wedding night, he receives information that she has betrayed some aristocrats.Read more ›
I really like this version. I thought that no one could surpass Anthony Andrews , but , as usual I was wrong. Richard E. Grant is utterly perfect. He can be a stupid snob while he is Sir Percy and a great, sensible hero when he is the Pimpernel. His performance is elegant, wit and funny.
Elizabeth Mac Govern plays a real Marguerite. Not a stupid, simple woman as others have done before. She was a great actress before her marriage. She has a past and that is why I like her. A real heroine who matches the heroe, not one who is crying all the time and waiting for him to save her.
Martin Shaw is the best Chauvelin. He is a villain, with that dark secret that makes him more human. But also his wicked sense of humor keeps the high level in the film.
And plus, add a great score. A wonderful music with a catchy melody and you have a great serie. BBC always keeping its standars. Let's hope they will going up.
The Howard version, done at a time when England was under attack by Germany, is solidly patriotic. Howard's Pimpernel is a patriot and a humanitarian. Richard Grant's Pimpernel obviously enjoys the thrill seeking, living on the edge of destruction. As someone else said, an adrenalin junkie. Rescuing aristos from the guillotine is an extreme sport for him.
Lady Blakeney is played as an older character, about mid thirties, rather than 25, as in the book, which is delightful. She is more experienced, less an ingenue, and her mistakes arise from desperation, not pique. When they relax together, she and Sir Percy obviously enjoy one another, physically and mentally.
Which brings me to the character of Chauvelin. His character is given more depth. There's hints about his character that need to be explored in more depth (could we have another movie or two, please?. He reminded me of Raphael Sabatini's Scaramouche, a middle class character who was drawn into the Revolution without a full understanding of what he was helping to set in motion. However, make no mistake, Chauvelin is looking out for himself first and foremost.
France of the Revolution is shown to be a madhouse, where the Guillotine is an icon, sculpture of the heads of the fallen becoming decorations in a coffeehouse. It is both horridly decadent and fascinatingly stylish.
All combined I would give these movies 4 1/2 shiney stars.
First, the reviewers are right in identifying both the merits and faults of this version. This is a way-out adaptation of the story, so much so, that you might not recognize the story as the original one written by Baroness Orczy. Having said this, I have to add that the way-out factor consists not so much of added scenes and characters (which the 1982 version has), but of the change in the character of the Pimpernel and the emphasis on him as a man-of-action, rather than a fop or a devoted husband. There are also some major characters (in the series) bumped off either in the first episode or in subsequent episodes.
If you are going to watch this, watch it as a historical romp updated for the 1990s and as a cross between the original Pimpernel and the action movies and commando movies so popular today.
Also keep in mind that the romance factor (crucial in the book and in earlier versions) is reduced to practically zero, thanks to the screenplay and the palpable lack of chemistry between the leads (not to mention the miscasting of Marguerite). The most passion Sir Percy displays for his wife is when he is trying to outrun the mob to get to her. [The prison scene, starting with him descending the steps down to this frantic race is one of my favorite clips in this movie].Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disk in good condition. Only thing is movie is not like when you watch in HD.Published 28 days ago by MF
I actually found this series on accident. I was re-watching a movie that Richard E. Grant had been in and I was so impressed with his acting that I wanted to find more of his... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Emily
OK, I admit it, I'm a Richard E. Grant groupie (of the non-stalking variety). While not conventional looking, his elegance, wit and intelligence will win you over and these... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Elsa G. Reyna
I think the other version of this story is much better. the characters in the alternative version have much more subtext and depth. Read morePublished on August 13, 2014 by SopranoJoy
Good intrigue, based on a rough period in France's History.
If you like historical series , you should enjoy viewing this movie.
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