Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Alternate title: The Fighting Pimpernel
United Kingdom, 1950. The Archers, London Film Productions. Screenplay by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, based on the romance by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Cinematography by Christopher Challis. Produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Music by Brian Easdale. Production Design by Hein Heckroth. Costume Design by Ivy Baker, Nandi Heckroth, Bernard Sarron. Film Editing by Reginald Mills.
David Niven is a riot as the famous Scarlet Pimpernel, a sort of reverse Robin Hood who saves his fellow aristocrats from the evils of revolution. Margaret Leighton is terrific as his confused wife, a heroic woman who has no idea what her husband gets up to at night when he leaves the house; but wait until she finds out! Cyril Cusack makes a great villain in this gorgeously photographed adventure film that tries to be everything that Michael Curtiz and William Keighley’s The Adventures of Robin Hood ever was but never quite makes it. Considering it has the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger behind it, you’d expect a lot more grit to the action, but alas there is none. That said, I like it more than Scaramouche.