Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.

Howard and Merle Oberon

The appeal of this film for me is the fact that I LOVE the source material. It is that perfect balance of action, suspense and romantic drama.  When I realized that there a B&W filmed version of Baroness Orczy’s classic.


A British aristocrat’s effete facade masks a swashbuckling hero rescuing victims of the French revolution.

I think that about sums it up. The performances were great, especially those of our star, Leslie Howard and Raymond Massey as the republican villain Citizen Chauvelin.

Here is the trailer for your enjoyment:

For those of you who have not seen this, it will be on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) July 31st at 8:00PM. Set your DVRs!


  1. This was Leslie Howard at his best — way better than him being Ashley Wilkes from ‘Gone With The Wind’. There, I said it. Great highlight, Iba.
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    • GWTW is not one of my favorite films. Definitely epic but I am ambivalent about it at best.
      As for his role in it, it does seem rather blah. I think his general disdain for the Hollywood machine was a bit on display.

  2. Patti Abbott says:

    What a crush I had on Leslie Howard as a kid. He seemed so cerebral and noble.

  3. I love this movie too, Iba. I’m a big Leslie Howard fan-girl. 🙂

    The story of a dashing hero hiding behind a effete facade never fails to intrigue me. It’s been used over and over in many different ways and it always works.

    Have your seen PIMPERNEL SMITH? It’s another Leslie Howard film (directed by Howard) in which he updates the character to an Oxford professor who is secretly helping victims of the Nazis escape Germany. It’s terrific stuff.
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  4. I loved this movie when I was a kid, and I still do. In fact, I think I’ve watched it every time it’s been on. Set your DVRs, but also check out Twitter, this will be a #TCMParty 😀
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  5. Kristelle says:

    I will surely set my DVR for this movie, although it wouldn’t hurt if these classics are available in DVD, Bluray or even in Netflix.

    • Yeah it is always hard with some of the older films. I assume that a lot of it has to do with who owns the rights to the movie. A lot of times they slip through the cracks and end up on the public domain. Complicating matters is that this is a UK production so I do not know how that affects (if it does) in the USA.

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