Review: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Chick 1 says:scarlettpimpernel

I have loved the television version of The Scarlet Pimpernel since high school.  It came out 27 years ago.  And I am officially old.

What I Liked:  This is romance at its best.  Intrigue, adventure, agonizing obstacles.  There are moments in the story when you want to yell at the screen, “Turn around!”  or “Tell him!”  Sigh.  It’s also a pretty good cat & mouse &  even inspired a history discussion.  I love Anthony Andrews’ over the top performance as the dashing hero in disguise who pretends to be “fop” to hide his identity.  And this was the movie that introduced me to Ian McKellan long before he glowered and twinkled as Gandalf.  His performance as the villain far out shines the rest of the cast.

What I Didn’t Like: This is a made-for-tv movie from 1982 and the years have not been kind.  It is rather corny & cheesy in some places and a lot of the cast are often wooden.  The most unfortunate performance is Jane Seymour as the heroine.  She doesn’t seem to be able to do much more than pose & stare with a vacant look.  The music is heavy handed and the audio mix is terrible.  When combined with the British accents & French names it makes for a lot of rewinding and asking, “Who are they talking about?”

Bottom Line:  If you like your romances cheesy & over the top, definitely worth the rental.

Posted on by admin in Reviews, The 1980s 2 Comments

2 Responses to Review: The Scarlet Pimpernel

  1. Nancy

    And when do you want to come over and see the original 1930s version starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon? I’d love to get your feedback on it–I like the Anthony Andrews remake, but prefer the older one. Just call.

  2. Nina

    I also have the original DVD of it. The newer one romanticized him more. I got so caught up in this I read the book and two sequels. Great reads! Do you know that this book, written 100 years ago, was the model for many of the modern day superheros of comic books??

Add a Comment