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Scarlet Pimpernel: Book 1 [VHS]
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Amazon.com (ISBN 0767015576, VHS Tape)This handsomely mounted American-British coproduction (filmed in the picturesque Czech Republic) combines the elegance of British period productions--candlelit glow, gauzy softness, and the hazy atmosphere of light smoke and dust--with the energetic pacing, gliding camera work, and driving editing of American films. The Scarlet Pimpernel, the dashing hero played with zip and gallantry by Richard E. Grant, hides behind his secret identity of British aristocrat Percy Blakeney, society wit and court bon vivant. His callous front is so convincing he even fools his French wife Marguerite (Elizabeth McGovern), who quietly suffers the neglect and scorn of her husband. She has a secret and is soon blackmailed by the head of the French Secret Police, Chauvelin (Martin Shaw), to help track the Pimpernel, but upon discovering her husband's covert identity she risks her life in a desperate trip to England to warn him as Chauvelin's forces close in on them both. Grant cuts a larger-than-life swathe as the swashbuckling hero of the French Revolution and he brings an over-the-top enthusiasm for the calculatedly brazen social antics of Percy; he seems to be having the time of his life in both roles. McGovern's affected performance is less convincing, though she comes to life in the second half when Marguerite exhibits a fierce defiance in the face of sure death. But the show belongs to Grant. With a hearty grin on his face and a glint in his eye, he attacks the role with all the cocky confidence of a 17th-century superhero. --Sean Axmaker
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:12 -0400)
"France, 1792. It is the height of the French Revolution. The country is gripped by revolutionary fever and the evil Head of Secret Police, Chauvelin, keeps the guillotines busy executing innocent peasants, aristocrats and priests. Only the mysterious stranger known as the Scarlet Pimpernel constantly foils Chauvelin's plans with his heroic missions to save innocent lives" -- Box.
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