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Hey, C.M., I was just wondering if you’ve seen any of the Scarlet Pimpernel screen adaptations? My mom just finished reading the book as well and now we want to watch one of them… we’re just not sure which one would be best. 🤔🙂
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Absolutely! I’m so honored that you’ve asked me 😀 *bows*
I’ve seen three adaptations (I think those are the main ones most people I’ve heard talk about):
– 1934, Black & White, screen-wise very well done and paced, and I love seeing Leslie Howard (who starred in Gone With the Wind as Ashley, but also he’s well known for this film and Pygmalion). His representation of Percy is perfection. Unfortunately we don’t have color (goodness me, this is before WWII), and the length abbreviates the book’s plot (of course). As for Marguerite, Merle Oberon is OK, but not my ideal actress for the role. Overall, recommended. Only 1 hr 30 minutes. And it’s the public domain due to the age, I think you can pre/view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvtVrQb5DTY
– 1982, made for TV, but very high production values, and I think won multiple awards for its quality. Overall very well done. While this Percy is not as handsome xD as I’d hoped, Anthony Andrews nails it down as the dandy fop. And the length enables this story to be more detailed, and I think it’s based on TSP as well as El Dorado. Plus, Jane Seymore is lovely as Marguerite, and Ian McKellan (yep, Gandalf) plays Chauvelin. There are some changes made here: SPOILER – love triangle among the three, not my favorite change, but not terribly done. Highly recommended if you’re not really into B&W versions like the one above. (Being a geek, I love them both. <3) Content-wise, I can't remember everything, but I'm quite certain there's nothing worse than PG-13. Clip:
– 1999,2000 TV miniseries, starring Richard E. Grant, my least favorite. although it adapts multiple stories in the series, I find the main actors very lacking and poor interpretation of the characters (for example – Percy is not depicted so much as lazy and stupid as rather wild, and I think Grant's Percy is simply too lively to be accurate). I'd skip this one altogether.
– Bonus: Not set during the French Revolution at all, but Leslie Howard actually starred in Pimpernel Smith in which the story is set to Pre-WWII Europe. A Cambridge archaeology professor travels to Nazi Germany under the guise of finding "Aryan" historical evidence. And smuggles out Jews along with his "archaeology findings." 🙂 Interestingly, this movie is said to have directly influenced the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg to save (probably) tens of thousands of Jews – Wallenberg actually went missing and was never found. (If you're interested, it's also in Public Domain –
P.S. xD I just can't stop, can I? I hope you don't mind. Recommend listen to The Musical! 🙂 Faithfulness to the book about the same as the 1982 film. Into the Fire and When I Look at You are some of my favorite songs:
I hope my looong response here will be helpful in your decision! I'm so excited to know that you are going to watch this with your mom! Let me know what you think, Kendra!! 🙂
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Your lovely question just reminded me that I MUST write a full-fledged review/comparision to post here – thanks for that!!
And if I didn’t quite make myself clear above I would recommend watching the 1982 starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellan if you are looking to watching just one version. 🙂
Oops – I mean to link Into the Fire earlier
and When I Look at You
Thanks so much!! I know… in all the adaptations I’ve looked at, Percy is NOT as handsome as he should be. My mom and I think William Moseley (Peter Pevensie) would do very well playing Percy, if there was to be a new movie made… he’s got the right appearance for it, I think. 🙂
Ooh, okay, I’ll listen to it!
We’re thinking of trying both the 1982 movie and the 1999 BBC miniseries to see which one we like better. 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes/what are overall consensus is! 😀 Thanks again!