The Elusive Pimpernel

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A reasonably faithful adaptation of Baroness Orczy's tale of the French Revolution and the debonair Englishman who spirited aristos out of reach of the Terror. Somewhat over-elaborated, especially in the lavish court sequences, it contrives to get bogged down in a marshy area somewhere between straightforward boy's adventure and classic P & P territory. Powell's original intention was to make it a musical, but Korda and Goldwyn objected; with relics of this conception surviving in the return to Orczy's adventure yarn, the result was that, as Powell commented, 'it really was a terrible mess'. Not terrible, since it is characteristically vivid and colourful, and sparked by bright flashes of sardonic humour.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Screenwriter: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Cast: David Niven
Margaret Leighton
Jack Hawkins
Cyril Cusack
Robert Coote
Edmond Audran
Charles Victor
Danielle Godet
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