'Pimpernel' Smith

1941

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama / Thriller / War

7
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 1078

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Leslie Howard as Professor Horatio Smith
Sebastian Cabot as Bit Role
Valerie Hobson as Shop Girl
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859.67 MB
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English
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
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1.82 GB
1472*1072
English
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 10 / 10

Smith has his say!

Leslie Howard (Professor Horatio Smith), Francis L. Sullivan (General von Graum), Mary Morris (Ludmilla Koslowski), Hugh McDermott (David Maxwell), Raymond Huntley (Marx), Manning Whiley (Bertie Gregson), Peter Gawthorne (Sidimir Koslowski), Allan Jeayes (Dr Beckendorf), Dennis Arundell (Hoffman), Joan Kemp-Welch (teacher), Philip Friend (Spencer), Lawrence Kitchen (Clarence Elstead), David Tomlinson (Steve), Basil Appleby (Jock McIntyre), Percy Walsh (Dvorak), Roland Pertwee (Sir George Smith), A.E. Matthews (Earl of Meadowbrook), Aubrey Mallalieu (dean), Ernest Butcher (Weber), Ben Williams (Graubitz), Hector Abbas, Oriel Ross, George Street, Arthur Hambling, Harris Arundel, Suzanne Clare, Charles Paton, Ronald Howard, Roddy Hughes.

Director: LESLIE HOWARD. Screenplay: Anatole de Grunwald. Adapted by Roland Pertwee, Ian Dalrymple and Anatole de Grunwald from an original story by A.G. MacDonell and Wolfgang Wilhelm. Photography: Mutz Greenbaum, Jack Hildyard. Film editor: Douglas Myers. Music composed by John Greenwood, directed by Muir Mathieson. Associate producer: Harold Huth. Producer: Leslie Howard. Executive producer: Edward Small. (The Suevia DVD rates 10/10).

Copyright 15 December 1941 by United Artists Corp. A British National Picture. U.S. release through United Artists. New York opening at the Rivoli: 12 February 1942. U.K. release through Anglo- American: 26 July 1941. Australian release through British Empire Films: 12 March 1942. 11,003 feet. 122 minutes. U.S. release title: Mister V.

SYNOPSIS: Nazi Germany before the War: a Cambridge professor and a group of students, are digging for evidence of early Aryan Civilisations. But the Professor quickly becomes the ingenious foe of the Nazi Regime.

COMMENT: "Pimpernel Smith" appeared about a year after Dunkirk, and was intended to make the Nazi regime appear ridiculous. The plot of the film, as the title implies, is a variation on Baroness Orczy's novel, "The Scarlet Pimpernel". To translate the 18th century fop Sir Percy Blakeney into 20th century terms and the cunning but shabby Chauvelin into his equivalent as a Nazi agent could have been done with comparative ease. Instead, Howard has made his Pimpernel all tweeds and tobacco and forgetfulness.

"Pimpernel Smith" came in third at the British box office in 1941. ("49th Parallel" was first, Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" second). The movie was equally successful in Australia — in fact was so popular it was still being commercially screened in the 1960s, one of a mere handful of wartime British product still available from Australian 35mm exchanges.

You'd think that such an exceptionally popular film would regularly turn up on Australian television, wouldn't you? Hell, no! We all know what utter contempt TV program managers have for the likes and dislikes of their viewers. No "Pimpernel Smith", thank you.

Despite the wartime propaganda it's still a vastly entertaining movie which oddly has dated far less than the original "Scarlet Pimpernel" which had the advantage of being set in period. Howard and Sullivan make such wonderful adversaries, and Howard has directed with such flair, making full use of some really impressive sets!

Photography and other credits are equally polished. And incidentally the scene I can never forget has Howard escaping across a field, the Nazis in hot pursuit, firing wildly. Howard seems to disappear. Then the camera tracks across to a ragged scarecrow and pans slowly down its arm. Blood!

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

Delightful wartime adventure

'PIMPERNEL' SMITH is a delightful wartime adventure flick starring Leslie Howard as an updated version of the Scarlet Pimpernel. This time around, he's an archaeology professor who goes to Nazi Germany with a handful of students in order to do some studies. Secretly, he's helping enemies of the Nazis to escape from their oppressors. Howard is excellent in the mild-mannered lead role, delivering a surprisingly humorous performance with lots of character work and one liners. The Nazis are obviously depicted as bumbling idiots, which makes for plenty of funny situations, and the narrative works well with a mix of genre elements.

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

Leslie Howard is a modern-day Pimpernel

Professor Horatio Smith (Leslie Howard) has his students accompany him to the continent for an archaeological dig. Ultimately they realize that he is secretly helping to transport enemies of the Nazis out of Germany, and they want to help. But is someone in the group collaborating with the Nazis? Howard was the Scarlet Pimpernel saving people from the guillotine; now he's a modern Pimpernel saving people from the Nazis, using the archaeological dig as a cover and wearing several disguises in the film.

It's a very good film, with a great speech by the Professor at the end, saying that Germany's entrance in the war would lead to its destruction and not its glory - very prescient. His enemy here is von Graum (Francis L. Sullivan), probably modeled on Herman Goering. He gets away when Von Graum is distracted, but we hear Howard say, "I'll be back." In real life, of course, Howard was defeated by the Nazis when a plane he was in was shot down. It's a rousing WW II film and reminds us of the dashing Howard's legacy outside of Gone with the Wind.

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