Based on a screenplay by Dylan Thomas, with updatings by Guy Jenkin, this rural romp is The Scarlet Pimpernel out of Gainsborough Studios via Ealing. Set in Wales in 1843 and drawing upon historical fact, it has handsome heir Anthony Raine (Rhys) joining forces with a rabble of local farmers and labourers against avaricious drunk Lord Sarn (O'Toole) and the Turnpike Trust. Called in to protect the owners' interests, priggish Captain Marsden (Dormandy) and his dragoons are outwitted by Rebecca's Daughters, marauding gangs of men who dress as women to attack the hated turnpikes. Anthony's fiancée (Richardson) naturally prefers the cross-dressed avenging Rebecca to the seemingly ineffectual Anthony. Hints of an underlying seriousness are reinforced by Welsh director Francis' obvious affinity with both the material and the locations. For the most part, though, the tone is set by the fist fight between Anthony and a 'son of the soil' (Hywel) which predictably spills over into a pigsty.
Cast and crew