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The Scarlet Pimpernel (February 17, 1934)

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Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon in The Scarlet Pimpernel

Released on February 17, 1934: A mysterious stranger helps the French Noblemen who are oppressed by the infamous Robespierres oppressive rule, the self appointed dictator of France that put his enemies to the guillotine.

Directed by Harold Young

The Actors: Leslie Howard (Sir Percy Blakeney and The Scarlet Pimpernel), Merle Oberon (Lady Blakeney), Raymond Massey (Chauvelin), Nigel Bruce (The Prince of Wales), Bramwell Fletcher (the Priest), Anthony Bushell (Sir Andrew Ffoulkes), Joan Gardner (Suzanne de Tournay), Walter Rilla (Armand St. Just), Mabel Terry-Lewis (Countess de Tournay), O.B. Clarence (Count de Tournay), Ernest Milton (Robespierre), Edmund Breon (Colonel Winterbottom), Melville Cooper (Romney, the Great Artist), Gibb McLaughlin (the baber), Morland Graham (Treadle the tailor), John Turnbull (Jellyband, the innkeeper), Gertrude Musgrove (Jellyband's daughter Sally), Allan Jeayes (Lord Grenville), A. Bromley Davenport (French innkeeper), William Freshman (Lord Hastings), Hindle Edgar (Lord Wilmot), Bruce Belfrage (Pitt), Noel Birkin, Derrick De Marney (member of the League), Hugh Dempster (member of the League), Philip Desborough (member of the League), Annie Esmond (Lady W), Arthur Hambling (Captain of the Guard), Laurence Hanray (Burke), Carl Harbord (member of the League), Kenneth Kove (Codlin, fisherman), Renee Macready (Lady Q), Roy Meredith (Viscount de Tournay), Robert Rietty (the child of an aristocratic family in the prison), Bill Shine (an aristocrat), Douglas Stewart (Merieres), Philip Strange (member of the League), Harry Terry (Renad), Evan Thomas (member of the league), Edmund Willard (Bibot, Republican Officer), Brember Wills (Doman), Millicent Wolf.

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The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy . . . This is supposed to be a story of spies and intrigue, about a brave British nobleman that risks his life to save the lives of French noblemen that have been sentenced to the guillotine, but I tell you now that it is a very profound love story gone right. That's correct, as we follow the adventures of the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel who infiltrates France and smuggles those doomed to death out of France and into England, we are actually seeing the death and re-birth of a great love between an Englishman and a French woman.

Robespierre is a French nobleman that wants very badly to be the Emperor of France. To become the dictator of France, he must kill all of the other noblemen so that he is the only one left. He starts to systematically behead them on the new and fancy Guillotine that was built in Paris. But Sir Percy, a daring Englishman who is the master of disguise manages to smuggle some of them out of the country. Back in England, Sir Percy is married to a French woman that has no idea that her husband is the infamous 'Scarlet Pimpernel.' - And what exactly is a 'Scarlet Pimpernel'? It is a simple flower that grows by the wayside, and is the symbol of Sir Percy. Lady Blakeney, his wife, is disenchanted because she feels that she has lost the love of her husband. In truth, he still loves her, but he believes that she is the person that started the beheading of French men by betraying him to Robespierre, the killer of France. Since then Sir Percy has done all that he could to save French men, and cannot trust his French wife, because he believes that she would willingly expose anyone that would defy the terror Robespierre.

Indeed, a French diplomat comes to London and tells Lady Blakeney that her brother has been arrested, and he will lose his head on the guillotine if she does not help him uncover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. She agrees, not knowing that the man they seek is her husband. As the story unfolds, she does indeed unknowingly betray her husband to the Frenchman, and only later discovers that she has actually betrayed her own husband. But he has already left for France, stepping into a trap well laid for him, and she can probably do nothing to save her husband. In a panic, she goes to France and hooks up with one of her husband's henchmen, and together they try to warn Sir Percy of the trap laid out for him. Unfortunately she is too late, and the Frenchman takes her hostage while waiting for her husband Sir Percy to arrive. With the house surrounded, Sir Percy walks right in, facing the evil Frenchman that wants his life.

Will the Scarlet Pimpernel lose his life, along with the life of his wife? Will the Scarlet Pimpernel be able to save his wife's life but lose his own in the exchange? Will they die in each other's arms, knowing that their love is restored and alive? Will you enjoy your popcorn half as much as this amazing tale of love and war?

Who, Sir, Me Sir?

Yes Sir, You Sir!