Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Punainen neilikka / Den röda nejlikan. GB 1934. PC: London Film Productions. P: Alexander Korda. D: Harold Young. SC: Lajos Biró, S. N. Behman, Robert E. Sherwood, Arthur Wimperis and Baroness Orczy - based on the play (1903) and the novel (1905) by Baroness Orczy. DP: Harold Rosson. AD: Vincent Korda, David B. Cunynghame. COST: John Armstrong, Oliver Messel. M: Arthur Benjamin. M dir: Muir Mathieson. ED: William Hornbeck. S: A. W. Watkins. CAST: Leslie Howard (Sir Percy Blakeney / The Scarlet Pimpernel), Merle Oberon (Lady Blakeney), Raymond Massey (Chauvelin), Nigel Bruce (The Prince of Wales), Bramwell Fletcher (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 Tour-nay), Ernest Milton (Roberspierre). 98 min. A 1969 re-release print with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Lea Joutseno. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 15 Dec 2009.

An intact print with little scratches and with an ok, at times slightly duped definition of light.

Baroness Orczy's popular adventure story set during the Great Terror after the French Revolution, with a great cast. Leslie Howard as the seemingly sissy Sir Percy Blakeney, who is actually The Scarlet Pimpernel who saves French aristocrats from the guillotine. Raymond Massey as the cunning French agent determined to expose The Scarlet Pimpernel. Merle Oberon as the Pimpernel's wife, who misunderstands and is misunderstood. I particularly liked the Merle Oberon sections of the film. She is very moving in her close-ups.

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