Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The scarlet pimpernel is a wayside flower (Anagallis arvensis)
 but The Scarlet Pimpernel (whom I have mentioned before), is the template for the modern, fictional hero and the invention of Baroness Emmuska Orczy. I recently found that the definitive film version (1934) (starring Leslie Howard as Sir Percy Blakeney; Merle Oberon as Marguerite St Just, Lady Blakeney, and Raymond Massey as Chauvelin; directed by Alexander Korda), is on Youtube and definitely worth a viewing, I remember that I saw it for the first time with my father when I was about eight years old, and the impression that it made on me.

The story was first produced as a play in October 1903, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, starring Fred Terry as Blakeney:

Here is a still of Howard and Oberon:

1 comment:

  1. I like this version too. Howard then went on to make a wartime version - Pimpernel Smith - which is well worth the watching. It viciously lampooned the Germans and one of the many theories about why his aircraft was shot down is that he was a target because of the propaganda value of his wartime films.