Scarlet Pimpernel, The

187. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1935-England). With LESLIE HOWARD, MERLE OBERON, RAYMOND MASSEY, NIGEL BRUCE. Music directed by MUIR MATHIESON. Produced by ALEXANDER KORDA. The first and finest version of this classic tale. The film is set in 1792; the Reign of Terror is sweeping through France, merciÂlessly sentencing all aristocrats to death. But some of them are being saved from the guillotine by the Scarlet Pimpernel, a daring and mysterious enemy of tyranny and injustice, who appears in imaginative disguises and rescues the would-be victims at the last minute. No one suspects that this bold hero is really Sir Percy Blakeney, ostensibly the most absurd fop in London; even Percy’s wife, who is secretly in love with the exciting Pimpernel (and who is brutally blackmailed into trying to discover his identity) doesn’t realize that he is under her own roof! The Pimpernel’s bold exploits, and his masterful battle of wits with the crafty diplomat sent by Robespierre to unmask and destroy him, make for high-spirited intrigue, romance and adventure. This is magnificent historical drama in the grand Korda tradition, with elegant costumes, sumptuous sets, and first-rate action scenes. Leslie Howard, equally convincing as the dashing Pimpernel and the effete Percy, was never belter. Forget about Superman and James Bond: when it comes to sheer charm, ingenuity and larger-than-life heroism, the Scarlet Pimpernel is still far ahead of the rest! 95 minutes. Costume Drama