The Scarlet Pimpernel

Watch The Scarlet Pimpernel

  • NR
  • 1982
  • 2 hr 22 min
  • 7.6  (5,101)

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1982 British film adaptation of the classic novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The movie stars Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy English aristocrat who, under the guise of the swashbuckling hero known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution.

The film is set in 1792, a time when France is in the midst of a revolution, with many of the wealthy and powerful aristocrats being executed by the new regime. Blakeney, who is married to the beautiful actress Marguerite St. Just, played by Jane Seymour, is initially indifferent to the political upheaval, but he becomes increasingly incensed by the atrocities committed by the revolutionaries.

In his alter ego as the Scarlet Pimpernel, he leads a secret organization dedicated to the rescue of French aristocrats from the guillotine. With the aid of a group of loyal supporters, including his friend and fellow aristocrat, Armand St. Just, played by Malcolm Jamieson, and a network of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel performs daring rescues of threatened aristocrats and smuggles them across the English Channel to safety.

However, the Scarlet Pimpernel's success puts him at odds with his wife, Marguerite, who has fallen under suspicion by the French revolutionary government. Unbeknownst to her husband, Marguerite is actually a French spy who has been working for the revolutionary cause. When the French envoy to London, Chauvelin, played by Ian McKellen, arrives to investigate, he sets his sights on discovering the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

As the film progresses, Marguerite's loyalties are tested as she finds herself torn between her love for her husband, her duty to her country, and her growing suspicion that the Scarlet Pimpernel may be closer to home than she had ever realized. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Pimpernel begins to suspect that Marguerite may be involved in the hunt for him, putting their already rocky relationship in even greater danger.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic tale of adventure, romance, and political intrigue set against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous periods in European history. The film benefits from a top-notch cast, with Anthony Andrews turning in a charismatic performance as the swashbuckling hero, while Jane Seymour adds depth and complexity to her role as the conflicted Marguerite. Ian McKellen is suitably sinister as the villainous Chauvelin, while the supporting cast of Malcolm Jamieson and other accomplished character actors add color and humor to the proceedings.

Director Clive Donner creates a vivid recreation of the period, with sumptuous costumes, lavish sets, and clever use of location shooting to bring to life both the high society of English aristocrats and the gritty reality of Revolutionary France. The plot is full of twists and turns, with action-packed set pieces and moments of quiet contemplation that give the film a satisfying emotional depth.

Ultimately, The Scarlet Pimpernel is a thrilling adventure with romantic overtones that will appeal to fans of historical dramas and swashbuckling adventures alike. The story has been adapted numerous times over the years, but this 1982 version stands as one of the most compelling and memorable versions of the classic tale.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1982 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 22 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

The Scarlet Pimpernel
Where to Watch The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Scarlet Pimpernel for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 22 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (5,101)