The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1934 adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, the classic adventure novel by Baroness Orczy. It was produced by Alexander Korda, directed by Harold Young and stars Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon, along with Raymond Massey.
Filmed in black and white, Howard set the standard with his portrayal of Sir Percy Blakeney and this version is widely regarded as the best screen adaptation.
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy »
Film Cast of CharactorsAlexander Korda, a Hungarian, who had been born in a town not far from the Orczy farm, had recently had great success with the actor Charles Laughton in the film The Private Life of Henry VIII, so he understandably asked the famous British actor to play the role of Sir Percy. But when the announcement went out to the press, the reaction from the Pimpernel's many fans was horror — the pug-nosed Laughton to play the suave Sir Percy? Never! Korda was nothing if not pragmatic and he offered the role to Leslie Howard, with Merle Oberon as Marguerite, although Orczy herself believed Oberon was miscast.
Watch complete film (public domain)