The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) - full transcript

London fop Percy Blakeney is also secretly the Scarlet Pimpernel who, in a variety of disguises, makes repeated daring trips to France to save aristocrats from Madame Guillotine. His unknowing wife is also French, and she finds that her brother has been arrested by the Republic to try and get her to find out who "that damned elusive Pimpernel" really is.

Old guard, present arms!

New guard...


New guard...



New guard...

Slow... march!

New guard... halt!

New guard... present... arms!

Old guard... shoulder... arms!

New guard... shoulder... arms!

Old guard... order... arms!

New guard... stand at...


Look! The Prince!

Fine body of men, the guards...

And no soldier in the world
like them.

By gad, you're right, sir!

Beer and beef, that's the stuff
that makes soldiers.

Besides, it gives a man... a figure

Have you seen today's "Times" sir?

No William.

- The news from Paris.
- Yes.

Over 50 people guillotined in one day.

Damnable, useless cruelty.

Well, what can you expect from foreigners
with no sporting instinct?

Gad, if it wasn't for our fox hunting
and our pheasant shooting...

I dare say we should be cruel too.

Let's hope the scarlet Pimpernel
will save some of the rest.

- Do you know who he is, sir?
- No.

But I confess, I feel a little prouder...

When I remember that
he is an Englishman.

Whoever he is...

He'll have his work
cut out in Paris.

Did you read this, sir?

There they go again.
It's always the same.

The drums roll, the knife falls...

And another aristocrat parts
company with his head.

Very monotonous.

And so clumsy,
that great ugly machine.

When all they need
is a sharper razor.

A quick wrist and flick!

Here, steady!

Ho-ho, you're all right, partner.

I wish they'd give me
a few aristocrats to shave.

Eh, Jacques?

Then we should see some sport.

And you would!

When you see me dealing
with the Scarlet Pimpernel.

- The what?
- The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Haven't you heard?

There's a band of Englishmen helping
these cursed aristos out of the country.

Their chief is the only man
who ever cheated Madame Guillotine.

He's known by the title
of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Who is he?

Oh... that's the mystery.

So you're a farmer
from Nordesque, are you?

Yes, sir.

You thought you could fool me
with a disguise like that!

Well, I'll keep this wig of yours...

Because after tomorrow you won't
have a head to put it on!

And I shall be delighted
to visit Madame Guillotine...

And make the acquaintance of the only
decent person left in France.

Captain, I say "Death to the Republic...

and long live the King!"

Take him away!

Stupid fool!

That makes the third aristocrat
I've caught this week.

I can smell 'em through
any disguise.

Thank heaven
for the game of chess.

It enables us to forget the more
disagreeable realities of life.

I'm not so sure it is a good thing.

We've been too detached
from reality all our lives.

That's what caused the revolution.

- Possibly.
- Undoubtedly!

If we'd only had eyes to see our own follies,
we shouldn't be here now...

Waiting to be shaved...

By the national razor.

Which is the Count de Tournay?

I am the Count de Tournay's daughter.

My father is over there
playing the chess.

This is my mother.

The Count de Tournay?

If you will look at the passage
I have marked...

Your spirits will be uplifted.

We are not afraid to die, Father.

Even so, it is sometimes better to live.

- How many, Captain?
- Sixty-four.

Robespierre gives Madame Guillotine
extra fodder today.

The former Duc de Tours.

The former Abbé de Saint Preux.

The former Count and Countess de Larnai.

The former Madame de Nijon.

The former Count d'Eterais.

The former Marquis de Jouvence and family.

The former Marquis de Robeaupier.

The two Countesses Herret.

The former Mademoiselle de Bournard.

The two former Duchesses
Passy and Boniveaux.

The former Marquis de Marais.

The former Count de Tournay and family.

The former Countess de Cherainville.

The former Madame de Piccard.


The former Count d'Arblai.

- Are you de Tournay?
- I am.

You are remanded.
Citizen Robespierre wants to see you.

- Thank God!
- The rest of you, get on!

Take him inside!

Come on!
Come on!

Get out of the way!

Get out!

You must have courage, Suzanne.


The Scarlet Pimpernel
is waiting to save us.

He's never failed
to keep his promise.

But it's too late!

Long live the King of France!

Long live the King of France!

Look at me whip, me hearties.

Look at it!

Three and twenty locks of hair in it.

There they are...

There's the Duc de Rouilly.

There's his handsome wife, the Duchess.

And here's the hair of her lover...

- The handsome...
- Where's your passport, hag?

He takes me for an aristocrat.

Well, you're right, Captain.

Can't be too careful, can you?

No, you can't be too...
Here, here's me passport.

This says
"Citizeness Renard and grandson."

Where's the grandson?

He's in the cart, poor darling.

Yes? What's the matter with him?

He's got the plague.

- The horrible black plague.
- Plague?


I don't think I shall get him alive
as far as Chambois.

Give me... give me a light from your pipe,
will you Captain?

Keep away from me
with your plague!

Get out of here, quick!

And when you come back,
try to pass another gate.

For you won't pass
through this one again!

You are right, Captain.
You are right.

But I'll be back... somehow.

- Who's in charge here?
- I am.

An old hag of a woman
will pass this way in a cart.

You are to stop her, and arrest her.

Did you say an old hag?

You heard me.

But, but she passed through here
some time ago.

- Her passport was...
- You miserable fool!

You blundering idiot!
Did you search the cart?

No, no, I... her grandson was inside
with the plague.

- Would you expect me to expose...
- You were expected to use your brains!

Now I see you haven't any!

That sick grandson was really three aristocrats
snatched from the guillotine!

Ten thousand hells!

And the old hag, who was she?

The old hag, my clever Captain...

Was that cursed Englishman,
the Scarlet Pimpernel.

- Forward, we'll catch him this time!
- Open the gates!

What's that?


Sounds like a troop of horsemen.

We're being pursued!

Don't be frightened, Ladies.
You are among friends.

- But this soldiers?
- My friends, Mademoiselle, and yours.

Are you the Scarlet Pimpernel?

I am only a humble instrument
in the hands of our great leader.

- How many are you?
- Twenty, madam.

One to command,
nineteen to obey.

- Shall we see your leader?
- I'm sorry, I must ask you to hurry.

- Where's de Tournay?
- Taken back into prison.

- Why?
- We don't know.

So we have to come back
and take him.

- How are things at Calais?
- Lawson's there.

- And Ashurst?
- He hadn't arrived when we left.

Oh hadn't he?

His time sense is defective...
that's twice.

They may have arrested him.

They're very careful at the
Channel ports nowadays.

My order to you is that
you're not to be arrested.

And I expect
my orders to be obeyed.

Yes Percy.

You, Wilmot and Grant
go back to Paris.

My brother-in-law
will follow you there.

All three of you will get your
next instructions from Quentin.

Well, goodbye.

And remember...
don't get caught.

- Right.
- Right.

- Good luck!
- Goodbye.




Why did they keep
de Tournay back?

Because Robespierre
wanted to see him.

And Robespierre wants to see him because
the Ambassador of the Republic,

has come over from London.



All in your honor, Percy.

Your work is becoming even more
dangerous than it was.

Our work, Armand.

You go back to Paris at once.

Find out everything you can
about Chauvelin

If he goes to London, you go too.

Our most dangerous enemy...

Is citizen Chauvelin.

Citizen Chauvelin.

Citizen Chauvelin!

My dear Chauvelin, I'm very sorry
that I have to ask you

to undertake the journey to London.

But this matter of the Scarlet Pimpernel
has become a national menace.

How can you expect
me to detect him

in a country that hates
us like the devil

and puts every obstacle
in my way?

We expect you to overcome obstacles

like our generals in the field.

They know that to lose the battle
means the guillotine.

Have you any plans?


We may assume that the Scarlet Pimpernel
and his gang...

speaks perfect French.

They belong therefore to a class that
has been brought up

by French nurses
and French tutors.

So far not bad.

I have a list
of all the likely names.

I have them watched
day and night.

Sooner or later, I'll draw the net.

You think de Tournay
might be useful?


De Tournay,

the former Count de Tournay

Former Ambassador to
the former King of France in London.

Citizen Chauvelin

Ambassador of the French Republic
in London.

De Tournay,
I want to make you an offer.

We offer you your life.

All we ask in return...

is that you merely get in touch
with your many English friends...

and soon
you will be able to tell us

who is the man known
as the Scarlet Pimpernel.

You want me to be a spy?

You have been too long in politics
not to be a realist.

A little piece of information...

we give you your life.

God gave me my life...

He will take it away as soon as
it pleases Him.

And now my family has gone
to the guillotine...

My one wish is to follow.

Would it alter your outlook to hear
that your family is alive?

Don't trifle with me.

I sent them to the guillotine for the future
happiness of the human race...

But I do not allow torture.

Where are they?

I saw them being dragged
towards the tumbrel.

On their way to the guillotine

the band of the Scarlet Pimpernel
snatched them away.

Where are they?

Probably in England by this time.

To His Majesty King George III.

God bless him for his hospitality
to us poor exiles.

To King Louis of France...

May God protect him.

And to your husband, madam.

I hope the Scarlet Pimpernel
and you gentlemen

will rescue him,
as you did us.

The Scarlet Pimpernel...

What a droll name...
What does it mean?

It is a humble
wayside flower, mademoiselle.

And it hides the identity of the best
and bravest man in all the world.

Do you know, Sir Andrew,
my best friend in London

Marguerite St. Just?

Suzanne, how often
am I to tell you

I will not have that woman's name
mentioned in my presence.

But mother, you can't believe
that dreadful story.

- What story?
- It's the truth.

Marguerite St. Just...

Denounced the Marquis de St. Cyr
and his family to the tribunal.

They all went to the guillotine.

- Marguerite St. Just?
- Yes.

She married an Englishman.

Do you know her?

Know her?

Everybody in London
knows Lady Blakeney.

Lady Blakeney, have you something
in your mouth?

Not now, Mr. Romney.

I can't do justice to that lovely face

when it's all bulged out
with bonbon.

You may talk if you like,
but no bonbon!

And no gestures, please!

All right, Mr. Romney.

I'll tell you what it is about the Pimpernel
that tantalizes me so.

It is his insufferable modesty.

There's no excuse for it!

It's maddening to think that somewhere
there's a man as marvelous as that.

And we never see him!

He is of no use to us whatever!

Lady Blakeney, I said no gestures, please!

Oh, you must remember that
I am a French woman...

and when I talk I must use these
as well as this.

The de Tournay family
arrived in Dover today.

All except the father.

We have to go back for him.

It's going to be devilish awkward
after what's happened.

Well I'll go.
So will Hastings if you'll let us.

We will all go if it
comes to that.

But even so, we're only 20.

Yesterday, 30 people went
to the guillotine.

Are you trying to suggest that
there aren't enough of us?

Perhaps that there
isn't a decent Englishman

that wouldn't be proud
to join us.

We could be 500, a thousand
within a week.

And within another week everyone of us
would be a marked man.

We shouldn't be able to rescue
a single soul.

Mere force is useless against people

who are neither cowards nor fools.

We must match
courage with courage...

and cunning with still greater cunning
if we're going to do anything at all.

We are all willing to give our lives.

But we must do more than that.

We must mask our identities...

Suffer the humiliation
of being taken

for fops, fools,
nitwits... cowards

So many people die every day
that could be saved.

You think I don't feel that?

You think I like sitting there
in the shadow of the knife...

while one head falls after another?

People I know and love.

Innocent people...
kindly people...

Herded like sheep...

butchered like cattle...

by men who make high-sounding
principles and excuses

for the most bestial cruelty.

Robespierre's liberty, his equality...


sink me, if it isn't
Colonel Ramsbottom.

Well. how are you Ramsbottom?

Winterbottom, Sir!

what a ridiculous mistake...

Allow me to explain, Colonel...

Here's that ass, Blakeney!

I'm off!

Odd's blood, this club
wants cheering up.

Sink me, the place is a mausoleum.

Are you being offensive, Sir?

Who Sir? Me, sir?
No, sir!

Stab me. I'm bubbling over
with good humor this morning.

Would you believe me,
I've just written a masterpiece?

- Who, sir? You, sir?
- Me, sir!

- No, sir!
- Yes, sir!

All about this mysterious
Pimpernel fellow.

How it came to me,
heaven only knows

because it was the busiest moment
of the day...

Darn, I was tying my cravat.

Oh well, here it is.

"The Scarlet Pimpernel"

by Sir Percival Blakeney,

- What?
- Well, that's the title.

"They seek him here,

"they seek him there.

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

"Is he in heaven?

"Is he in hell?

That damned, elusive Pimpernel."


Hmm, not bad!

Not bad?
It's damned good!

I'll write it out,
then you can all learn it.


Good day, gentlemen.

Goodbye. Higgenbottom.

Winterbottom, curse you!

I beg your pardon?
Didn't I say Winterbottom?

Bunch of young jackanapes!

They're all alike,
this fashionable puppies.


What that young man needs...

Is a year or two
of hard campaigning.

Facing powder...

and shot...

undergoing privation.

I can't imagine Blakeney
running into much danger.

Not he!

He doesn't belong to our vintage.

It's not my fault!

It's a matter of infinitely
small importance to me...

whose fault it is.

The man who could put starch
in my jabot...

Is equally capable of putting poison
in my coffee.

There, you see?

I'm a laughingstock,
and rightly so.

Look at the cursed thing.

Sticking out like a barber's pole.

Sink me, the thing is a disaster.

Go away, Brinker,
you dreadful fellow.


Your servant.


your slave.

Ah, Romney.

How are you?

And how is the portrait progressing?

The eyes are wrong, aren't they?

And is the nose all right?

You know...

I rather think
you missed the mouth...


Yes, you have.

Otherwise, it's the image of her.

I think that will be
enough for today.

Poor Mr. Romney.

You are tired, and so am I.


Zounds, me too.

You know, dear lady...

I've just been to Bath
to be cured of the fatigue.

And now I'm so fatigued
by the cure that I...

I really think that I shall have
to go to Bath again...

to be cured of the fatigue.

It has been a charming party.

- Goodbye!
- Goodbye.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye!

Bye, Lady Blakeney, thank you.

Bye, Sir Percy...

Goodbye, Sir Percy...

Goodbye, Sir Percy!

Goodbye, Goodbye...


What do you think of it?

It's clever...

But there's something lacking.


I don't know.

There's a look...

A look in the eyes...

He's lost it.

Perhaps, I've lost it.

Perhaps it was happiness.

Good gad, my dear!

How you could be unhappy.
I can't imagine.

Can't you?

Can't you?

Oh, cursed if I can.

Why, you're the most
courted woman in town.

- By whom?
- By everybody.

Except you!

Dear me, my dear,
I'm your husband.

Months after we were married,
we were still happy...

And then came this...


Which Heaven knows,
is none of my making.

Can you honestly say that?

Can you honestly deny
that you've changed?

So changed...

That I scarcely know you.

You're never with me now.

You're always away
on some pretext or other.

I'm always alone.

Then I've mighty good news
for you, my dear.

Your brother's arriving
from Paris.

- Armand?
- Yes.


At any moment.

And then you won't
be alone, will you?

When am I going
to see you again?

Whenever you wish to.

Well then, every day.


Where's the chief?

He went to town yesterday
as soon as he arrived here.

- Any order for us?
- Yes...

We have to wait here till tonight
for a message from Armand St. Just.


- Did you follow them?
- Yes.

A sailor gave a letter
to Sir Andrew Ffoulkes.

Did you get it?

It wasn't easy, but...

We had six men there.

Where are they now?

Gagged and bound on the ship.

And the letter?

You will release them tomorrow.

Watch every move they make.


Go over to France at once.

The moment St. Just returns,
arrest him.

Armand St. Just.

Marguerite St. Just...

The famous actress...

She will give a great performance
by Republican command...

For her brother's sake.

Percy, I don't want Armand
to go back to France.

If you'll help me
we can keep him in England.

He'll settle down here,
marry a nice girl...

And have lovely children.

What a dreadful prospect.

What has poor Armand done
to be sentenced to matrimony?

You should know better, my dear.

You're unhappy... Why?

Armand, I have the satisfaction
of knowing

that the biggest fool in England

has the most complete contempt
for his wife.

How did it happen?

I don't know.

I only know that when I married him

he was a man.

He was my lover.

I was glad to give up
everything for him.

And now...

You mustn't leave me, Armand!

I need you...
I'm all alone.

I can't stay.

You're going back to France?

But it's not safe!

For me?
I'm no aristocrat.

For anyone
under the terror.

I shall look after the Blakeney
estate in France.

Oh, Percy is so rich!
What does it mean to him?

He is not even interested
in his English estates.

Since the terror he wouldn't
go over to France

for all the treasures in the world.

Why should you risk your life
for his money?

Oh, I don't risk my life.

Don't worry, darling.


May I ask you something?

What's happened
to you and Marguerite?

Marriage, I suppose.


You loved her once... I know.

Do you remember the first family
to go to the guillotine?

The St. Cyrs.

They told me it was Marguerite
who denounced them.

It was a lie!

I wish I could believe that.

Did you ask her?

I did.

She flashed back a "yes"

as sharp as the knife
of the guillotine.

I watched that execution.

The Marquis...

His wife...

His son.

And it was my wife...

Who put them there.

So that's why
you ceased to love her.

What a tragedy.


I shall love her till I die.

That's the tragedy.

And it's to make up
what she did to them...

That you risk your own life

week after week to
rescue the others?

Don't be so heroic, Armand.

I got a smack in the eye,
and I took refuge in sport.

And what a sport!

By gad,

I think I shall give up
fox hunting this winter.

Now, what do you think of it?

Monstrous fine, sir!

Vastly becoming.

Now, there's a coat
you could wear with comfort.

You know perfectly well
I can wear nothing with comfort...

Until Sir Percy says so.

Where is that jackanapes?

Who. sir?

You, sir!

Here, sir!

And now, tell Treadle what...

What's wrong with this coat.

The back is admirable.

The front's fair.

The collar is. uh, possible.

But the sleeve. Treadle.

The cuff, my poor,
benighted friend...

That, Sir Percy,
is the last words in cuffs!

Oh, gad, I should hope so

for there should never be
another like it!

Oh, come now, it's...
It's not too bad.

You see, Sir Percy,
His Royal Highness approves.

My poor Treadle, His Royal Highness
does nothing of the kind.

He says it's "not so bad".

And nothing in the world
is "so bad"...

As something which
is "not so bad".

- But Sir Percy...
- It's a crime, Treadle.

Worse, a blunder.

And quite, quite fatal
to my reputation.

Why to your reputation?

Because all the world knows
that His Royal Highness

is guided by my taste.

Yes, yes, yes...
Percy is an expert on coats.

And britches, sir!

I'm a very wonder
with the inexpressibles.

Isn't that so, Treadle?

Well, yes, up to a point.

Zounds, Treadle... Why must you
be so cursed jealous?

Look at that puny sleeve...

That miserable dishrag of lace.

Odd's fish!

Looks like the lining
hanging down.

It was only intended
for a plain cut.

Plain! it's as ugly
as a parson's widow.

Open up your sleeves, man.

Let your ruffles take the air.

Let them flow, let them ripple.

So that when His Royal Highness
takes snuff...

It'll be a swallows flight.

That's it!

Why, Timmy Percy...

You're brainless, spineless,

But you do know clothes.

Odd's fish! That...
That’s something, isn't it, sir?

- Treadle! Treadle!

Yes, Your Highness!

Don't forget what Sir Percy says
about about the sleeves.

- A swallow's flight!
- Yes, Your Highness!

Flight of, uh, a swallow.

Come along, come along, gentlemen.

Oh, by the way, Wilmot...

Chauvelin's arrived in London.

Have him watched.

I'm just off to the fight
with the Prince.

- Report to me there.
- Very good.

Mendoza's groggy!

He... He's done!

Don't you believe it, sir.
He's foxing!

You wait until the 30th round.

I'll wager 100 guineas he won't last
two more rounds.

- Done!
- Come on, Mendoza!

Come on Jackson!

- You'd better hedge, Percy!
- Hedge be damned, I'll double.

- Done!
- Percy must be mad!

Mendoza's finished!

Get up, Mendoza!

Where is he?

- Where is he?
- He's at you house.

No, I will not!

You tricked me once
into giving you information

about the Marquis de St. Cyr.

I shall never forgive myself.

I'm sick of this sentimental twaddle

about the poor
persecuted aristocrats.

Have you forgotten what they did

to the defenseless peasantry
for centuries?

What this very St. Cyr
did to you?

No, I have not.

But I'm no spy.

- That is your last word?
- Absolutely!

I wonder....

Oh, by the way, how's
your brother, Armand?

Very well, I hope.

I hope so too.

But yesterday he was arrested...


At Boulogne.

What for?

As a traitor to his country.


You're lying, Chauvelin.

You're trying to trick me again.

I've the proof of his guilt
in my pocket.

This scrap of paper will certainly send
your brother to the guillotine.

Unless, of course, you
care to redeem it.

Bring me the name of the Pimpernel
and it is yours.

But even if I wanted to...

- I don't know it!
- Find it!

How can I if you can't
with an army of spies?

Because you go everywhere
and know everyone in his circle.

That much I do know.

And this also...

That he will be among the guests

tomorrow night
at the Grenville ball.

So will half the world!

This thing is impossible!

You're a clever woman
whose brother's life is at stake...

Nothing is impossible.


No, Chauvelin...

I won't!

Very well, madam.



Do you swear
to give me that paper?

The moment I catch
the Scarlet Pimpernel.

That name again?

I've heard nothing else
all day.

At the club. the fight,
and now here.

I protest, the fellow
is a public nuisance.

I beg your pardon, my dear.

Do I intrude?

No, no.

This is an old, uh,

Monsieur Chauvelin,
the French Ambassador.

My husband.

Charmed, delighted, enchanted.

Devilish clever race, the French.

How they speak that unspeakable
language of theirs defeats me.

You flatter us, Sir Percy.

No, no, you've got
the cleverest heads in the world.

The only trouble is...

You all go to pieces
around the neck.

Around the neck?

Yes, now look at that thing.

Sink me, what a mess!

Now, if you'd really like to know
how to tie a cravat...

I'll tell you.

But it isn't easy, mind,
it would take all my brains.

I'm sure it would.

Yes, now look here.

Well, you see, first of all the thing
goes twice around the neck.

And then the front folds back to allow
the back to come to the front.

Otherwise the front would be
all behind

as well as before.

Percy, what are you
talking about?

You don't follow me, my dear?

That's exactly what I say.

It takes brains, doesn't it?

- One can see that.
- Yes, of course.

Good day, Lady Blakeney.

Oh, no, no, don't go.

You and my wife must have so much
to say to each other.

We have.

But then I promised myself a little
tête-á-tête with Lady Blakeney

at Lord Grenville's ball
tomorrow night.


Tomorrow night, then.

But before you go...

You must hear my verse about
that cursed Pimpernel fellow.

You'll love it!


"They seek him here...

"they seek him there...

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

"Is he in heaven?

"Is he in hell?

That damned elusive Pimpernel".

- Delightful!
- What?

Especially that, uh...
that line:

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere".

Yes, I like that too.

Because, you see

I hear that they do.

And that gives the line

a sort of something...

That sort of gives it, ah...
A something, uh...

If I make myself clear.

Clear as crystal.

Good day, my dear Sir Percy.

Bonjour, "misu", as the French say.


Magnificent fight
this afternoon, my dear.

Gad, that fellow Mendoza's
got quick ears.

In the 10th round,
when Jackson had him down

I shouted, "Get up Mendoza!"

And damn me, he did.

And, sink me, he won.

Do you think...

Andrew Ffoulkes might be
the Scarlet Pimpernel?



He couldn't hit
a ball at Eaton!


What's your interest in
the Scarlet Pimpernel?

No more than any other woman's.

We would all like
to know who he is.

So would your friend Chauvelin,
I'll wager.

What makes you say that?

Isn't that what he is here for?

Did he tell you?

- Why should he?
- Why not?

Mind you, the man is clever...

But a fellow who can't even tie
his own cravat...

Isn't likely to put a noose 'round
the Pimpernel's neck is he?

Really, Percy.

Can you never rise
above trivialities?

Can't rise above anything with more than three
syllables, my dear, I never could.


You were a man once!

A man a woman
could look up to.

Could turn to in trouble.

And now...

You wouldn't know where to begin.

Couldn't you begin by telling me
what the trouble is?

What is the use?

We don't even speak
the same language.

Mr. Richard Brindslay Sheridan.

The Countess de Tournay.

Mademoiselle de Tournay.

The Vicomte de Tournay.

Lord and Lady Elsworthy.

The Earl and Countess of Garrow.

Well, here's our French friend!

Bonsoir, "misu", as you say.

Good evening, Sir Percy.


My dear, look at that cravat.

You're a monstrous quick learner, sir.

Permit me.



Another week, and we won't know you
from an Englishman.

From an Englishman!
That is praise indeed!

Oh, Sir Percy!

What is this poem everybody
is talking about?

- Poem?
- Yes!

All about the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Do tell us!

Oh, gads, there's no escape.

Forgive me my dear.

Take our friend round
and tell him who everybody is...

If anybody is anybody.

- That's exactly like you, Percy!
- That's like you.

I only want to know
who one person is

and you know the alternative..

The Pimpernel is under this roof
at this moment

among your friends.

Your move, milady.

And good luck.




The thing rhymes, you see,
in four places.

And if you can get a rhyme
to rhyme...

That, uh, makes it a poem,
if you follow me.

Yes, of course, but what is it?

"The Scarlet Pimpernel"

by Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet.

Really, that's only the name!

Well, go on!

"They seek him here,

"They seek him there.

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

"Is he in heaven?

"Is he in...

"That damned elusive...


That's marvelous!
It rhymes!

Oh yes!
It's a poem!

"They seek him here,
"They seek him there.

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

"Is he in heaven?
"Is he in...

"That damned elusive Pimpernel!

- Oh, extraordinary.
- Marvelous!

You liked that?

Well, I could tell another one.


That's a monstrous good color!


Who made that coat?

Beagle & Beagle.

Odd's blood!

Sink me if they're not better
than our master Treadle.

- Ffoulkes and Dewhurst are free.
- Escaped?

No, released. They are coming
here immediately.

Of course, that's why
they were released.

To lead a trail
to the rest of us.

I shall be in the library
at midnight.

His Royal Highness...

The Prince of Wales.

Ladies, please.

Ladies, gentlemen, please.

Ah, Grenville!

Good evening, ladies!

Good evening, gentlemen!

Please, please!

Any news from France, Grenville?

- The worst, sir.
- The King?


Can't we do anything?

We recalled our ambassador
a month ago.

Chauvelin had the impudence
to accept my invitation.

Will Your Highness permit?

Monsieur Chauvelin

the unofficial ambassador
of the French government.

Monsieur, we will try to forget
the government who sent you.

And look upon you
as merely our guest.

A private gentleman
from France.

As such are you welcome, monsieur.

Well, ladies...

Did you bet on my horse
at Newmarket this afternoon?

I particularly love the whole...

But I didn't want to...

Lady Blakeney with a sad face?

Ha-ha, but sadness is for
mere mortals, milady.

Never, never for goddesses.

Alas, even a goddess
must have moments

when she's a plain woman.

Zounds, madam!

Lady Blakeney could never become
a plain woman at any moment.

Ha-ha, that's better!

Now, come
and help me through my...

my princely paces.

I crave your permission to
present Your Royal Highness

the Countess de Tournay,
her daughter.

This is a pleasure, madam.

Charming, charming!

You and Lady Blakeney must become
great friends, madam.

Her friends are my friends.

And her enemies, the enemies...

of England.

We poor exiles, madam
show our gratitude to England

by our devotion to the wishes
of Monseigneur.


- Suzanne!
- Marguerite!

They were schoolfellows
in the convent in Paris.

Ah-ha, charming, madam.

Your Royal Highness,

I accepted the Lord Grenville's
gracious invitation

solely to implore Your Highness
to do something to save my husband.


The government does everything
in it's power

to save those who are threatened by death
in the prisons of the French Republic.

But if a country goes mad

it has the right
to commit every horror

within it's own walls.

Hastings slipped a note into
sir Andrew Ffoulkes' cuff.

Thank you, sir.

Ah, Lady Blakeney.

Won't you take pity
on a lonely compatriot?

Are you asking me
to dance with you?

Not with me.

With Sir Andrew Ffoulkes.


He has a note in his cuff.
Get it!

- But listen, Chauvelin...
- Get it!

Your Royal Highness...

Your Graces...

My lords...

Ladies and gentlemen...

Pray take your places
for the minuet.

Oh, please, it's nothing.

Just the heat.

Sir Andrew.

Would you be kind enough
to see me upstairs?

Of course.

This way, Lady Blakeney.
You'll be all right in a moment.

Lady Blakeney.

Shall I send for a physician?

No, no!

I'm so sorry...

I'll be all right in a minute.

Would you rather be left alone?


Please don't leave me!

Just for a second.

I'll be all right.

How clever of you.

Almost as good as a
burnt feather for faintness.


I feel better already.

Would you be kind enough
to bring me my fan?

It was a love letter.

And you sacrificed it for me.

What a shame.

But I'll ask her to write you
another, shall I?

Are you feeling better, darling?

I spoiled Sir Andrew's dance.

Would you make it up to him
by finishing it for me?


Did you get it?

He burned it.

But I got a glimpse
of what was left.

It began...

Well, go on.

"Start tomorrow myself..."

And ended...

"Will be in library
at midnight".

Thank you, Mary.
You can go to bed.

See that Sir Andrew Ffoulkes
gets this.

My dear!


All right, Brinker.

Well, my dear?

It's about Armand.

He's in the most terrible danger.

They've arrested him
at Boulogne!

How do you know?

Chauvelin told me.



Well, why didn't you tell me
when I asked you?

I don't know... I...

He threatened me.

Then why are you telling me now?

Because I thought you might do
something for Armand!

You have influence at court.

Didn't you ask your friend Chauvelin
for help?

He promised me that...

I don't trust him.

He promised you
the life of your brother.

What did you give him
in exchange?

What has happened to you, Percy?

Do you... hate me?

Why did you denounce
the Marquis de St. Cyr?

So, that's it!

Why did you never ask me
what the Marquis de St. Cyr did to me!

You didn't even know him.


I didn't even know him.

Well, then.

But I knew his son.

I was only 17 when he asked me
to marry him.

His father heard about it
and had me arrested...

And sent to St. Lazare.

Do you know what St. Lazare is?

Do you know the sort of women
that are sent there?

I would have killed myself.


Only what?

The Revolution came.

The ever-glorious 14th of July.

And I was free.

Why this tardy explanation?

I asked you once if you sent the St. Cyrs
to the guillotine. You said yes.

You believed it so easily, didn't you?

And yet...

I still ask myself.

"Am I really guilty of their deaths?"

If not you, who is?

He plotted with Austria.

I told a friend.

A man whom I thought a friend.

He denounced him.

The terror did the rest.

Who was that friend?

Was it Chauvelin?

He promised you
your brother's life.

What price did you pay for it?

What price did you pay for it?

I paid a horrible price.


I betrayed the Scarlet Pimpernel.


Ffoulkes had a scrap
of paper in his cuff.

I read it and told Chauvelin the Pimpernel
would be in the library at midnight.

And was he in the library
at midnight?

Chauvelin says he wasn't.

But I think he is lying.

And through my betrayal

a noble and generous man
might lose his life.

What am I to do Percy?

How can I warn him?

Warn him?

Against what?

Against the danger that threatens him
if he goes back to France!

My dear...

If he is the kind of lunatic
I take him to be

your warning won't stop him.

But he might be going
to his death!

Well, that's all the fellow lives for.

Besides, he doesn't know
you're in love with him.

I'm not in love with him.

I admire his heroism, but...

I don't love him.

Oh, but you do, only
you don't know it.

I didn't know it myself
until a moment ago.

Percy, please don't joke
about it!

It's no joke.

Believe me.

Dangerous game, falling in love
with a phantom, my dear.

For all you know, he may be
a married man.

Who's deeply in love
with his wife.


Why not?

Would any man who was in love
with his wife

leave her continually
to face death?

Would you?


Zounds! I'm much more
romantic than you think.

In a case like that
I wouldn't leave you.

Not even to go to my tailor.

The horses are ready, sir.

Thank you, Brinker.

Are you going away?

Oh, yes, didn't I tell you?

Important business in town.

Goodbye, my dear.

Your tailor, I suppose.

Not only my tailor,
but also my bootmaker.

And incidentally...

I want to see what my influence
is worth at court...

That little matter of your brother.

Perhaps I can help.

Oh, Percy, if you could...

I'd love you all my life.


I must remember that, my dear.


What is it Brinker?

It's 6 o'clock, milady.

I suppose you want me
to leave this room.

I've never been here
quite alone, have I?

No, milady.

All right, Brinker, thank you.



- Brinker! Brinker!
- Milady.

A letter, to be delivered
into your Lady's good hands.

- From Sir Percy?
- No, madam.

From his excellency,
the French Ambassador.

Where's Monsieur Chauvelin?

He left this morning
for France, madam.

All right, thank you.


The carriage.

Very good, milady.

Is Sir Andrew Ffoulkes in?

Yes, milady.

I'll call Sir Andrew, milady.

Lady Blakeney, what's happened?

Sir Andrew, there's no time
to waste in talking.

Just listen to me.

Your leader and friend,
the Scarlet Pimpernel

- My husband..
- How do you know that, milady?

Do not ask any questions now.

He is in deadly peril.

Chauvelin knows that Percy Blakeney
and the Scarlet Pimpernel

are one and the same.

How did Chauvelin come to know?

Through me.

Do you mean to say
that you betrayed him?

Yes, yes, I betrayed him,
never mind how

just tell me this...

Has Percy left for Boulogne?


- To save my brother?
- And de Tournay.

What is their meeting place
in Boulogne?


- Do you want to...
- Oh, look at me, man!

Do I look like a woman who wants
to send her husband to his death?

I want to find Percy,
to warn him, to save him

or to die with him.

I'll go with you.

Can you bring your friends?

Ten of them.

The rest are in France.

Percy has forbidden us
to go over.

It will be the first time
we've ever disobeyed him.

I'll save Percy even if
I have to kill Chauvelin.

And if he goes to the guillotine...

I'll go after him.

There you are citizens!

Boulogne has a guillotine
of it's own now.

Same as Paris!

That's nothing!

Half the towns in France
have got them.

Let her go, Francois!

Good, eh?

So much for the bait.

Now for the trap.

We can't afford to make
any mistakes this time.

Remember, it's either the Pimpernel
or ourselves for the guillotine.

- Robespierre knows he is here.
- Yes.

The net must be spread
with more than cunning.

Blakeney's no fool.

Besides, he's a master
of makeup and disguise.

He may turn up
as an old woman

a peddler with a pack, a peasant
with a beard, anything!

They've got the Scarlet Pimpernel!


Quiet everybody!

Listen, my friend

The next time you want to put on
a false beard

Choose a good one

not a bird's nest that
wouldn't deceive a child!

Clumsy idiot!

Let go, you!

I'll teach him to pull
the best beard in Boulogne!

I've never been so
insulted in my life!

You disgusting, gibbering monkeys!

You'll hear more of this!

An honest woman I am,
one of the few in our street!

Stripped naked by soldiers

and the searched
to see if I was a man!

Listen, Captain.

If I were 20 years younger

that's were I should be.

Bravo uncle!
That's the spirit!

Where are you boys serving now?

Oh, we're on leave.

Stealing away the hearts
of the girls of Boulogne?

No sir, I'm in love.

Ah, you rascal.

It's the wife of another man?

No, it's my own.


Captain, I’ll tell you a secret.

You and I are the only men
in France

who are in love with our wives.

Let's drink to it!

Well, here's to it!

Here's to it!

But it'll be hard for you
to leave her

for this war with England.

You think that's coming,
do you?


We shall have to teach
perfidious Albion a lesson!

Well. it won't take us long
to get across the channel.

Will it, boys?

No, no!

Well, gentlemen, good luck!

Good night.

- Good night.
- Good night.

De Tournay was brought here
from Paris yesterday

The same prison as Armand.

I thought so.

Chauvelin's using them
as bait.

Search every incoming ship.

Even the smallest fishing boat.

And you...

De Tournay and St. Just
have escaped!


God knows.

The Pimpernel knows!

Someone will pay for this!

Where are the jailers?


Citizen Chauvelin!

How dare you burst in?
Who are you?

Jailer from the prison!

- So you're the one...
- No fault of mine!

The head jailer
would have killed me

if I hadn't taken the money
to free those accursed aristocrats!


The Pimpernel is taking them
to England.

Promised us all jobs there!

But I'm a good patriot,
Citizen Chauvelin.

I'm not losing my head...

because I got some information
that will save yours.

What is it worth?

What do you know?

Where you can find
the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Out with it!


He told us to meet him at 10 o'clock
at the Lion d'Or.

Take him away.

10 o'clock at the Lion d'Or.##

Let fly foresheet!

Let fly foresheet!

There's the Lion d'Or.

Tell the men to get ready
to row me ashore.

We must wait for the signal.

Brogard waves the lantern

across the window for safe

up and down for danger.


There's the signal.


You've all the roads watched?

Every corner... and the beach.

And a troop of dragoons
to surround the place?

Waiting outside.

Come on then...

The Lion d'Or.

Good evening.

What do you want here?

This is no place for one
of your sort.

I'm the sort that pays well,
Citizen Brogard.

For what?

For a seat by the fire.

I'll wait here for a friend of mine...

And yours.

What should I know
of your friends?

You signaled him just now.
You must be expecting him.

What time?

What time?

10 o'clock.

Where can I hide?

Quick, to the attic!

Citizen Brogard?


Under arrest.

What for?

Betraying the Republic...

Helping the enemies of France...

Harboring a gang
of dangerous criminals...

Smuggling aristocrats
out of the country.

That's a lie!

You've got one chance.

Take it, or I'll hang you now
from your own sign.

The leader of your gang
is coming here tonight, isn't he?

Isn't he?

- Yes.
- What time?

He ordered his boat to be
off the point at 10 o'clock.

Ah, but he'll call here
for his passengers, won't he?

He might!


You'll look pretty
swinging in the wind.

How does he know it's safe?

What is the signal?

A lantern in the attic window.

Waved up and down for danger...

across the window
when all is clear.

Come on. sergeant.

That is the wrong signal,
Lady Blakeney.

That will keep Sir Percy away!

This is the right one.

This will bring him here.

I can see you are longing
to see him

As I am myself.

What a great actor Sir Percy is.

A thousand ways to cheat

the poor, stupid officials
of the Republic.

Look, costumes, wigs, paint.

What will he be next?

In what disguise will he arrive
when the clock strikes 10?

I must arrange a reassuring
atmosphere for him.

An old woman?

No, he has overdone that.

A priest...

What could be more harmless?

And so useful when it comes
to the last offices.


You shall have the privilege
of watching over the Republic's

most charming prisoner
for the rest of the evening.


- Duroc
- Citizen?

Everything ready?

The dragoons should be here
at any moment.

Arrange for a firing squad
as soon as they arrive.

Are you so certain
you'll get him?


Thanks to a charming friend
I found in there.

- What time is it?
- Quarter to 10.

Remember, he has to think
his way is clear.

He must not suspect anything
until he's in the trap.

Good evening, Monsieur Chauvelin.

How nice of you
to wait up for me.


I had no idea
you were in holy order.

This is only an innocent masquerade

like so many of your own, Sir Percy.

Ah, but mine were successful.

Mine may prove successful yet.

You walked in here quite freely

but you won't walk out
a free man.

A prophet now, Monsieur Chauvelin.

The time for laughing
is past, Sir Percy.

I've sought for a year.

Your energy, your ingenuity

your audacity have been
quite admirable.

But now...

The game is up!

Because all the trumps
are in your hand, eh?


This house is surrounded
by my soldiers.

I've only to raise my voice

Yes, yes, I see your point.

I see your point.

But suppose...

Suppose I could reach a door?

The night is black.

The sea is mine.

I make a dash!

I don't make a dash.

I don't need to.

Because one of my friends
might shoot you...

From behind, hidden in that clock!

Oh, come now...
No one really hides in a clock.


I still have...

One more avenue of escape...

Open to me.

Don't move!


If I drop this in here...

I fly straight to heaven.

And you know where you fly to.

Don't be alarmed Monsieur Chauvelin.

It's not gunpowder.

Thank you Wilmot.

You just arrived in time.

I've had five delightful minutes
with Monsieur Chauvelin.

I trust there was time enough to get
Armand and de Tournay into safety.

Yes, they're safe.


Now we need five minutes.

Then I shan't trouble you anymore.

For the moment.

We must have the password, Percy.

The password.

Do we have to use force?

Not at all, Sir Percy.

The password is,
"The Channel is Free".



You get them onto the ship.

I'll take care of our friend
and join you in a minute.

That was quite sensible of you...

Monsieur Chauvelin.

Not at all, Sir Percy.

You may go...

Because I know you'll come back
of your own free will.

You overestimate the charm
of your society.

I told you once, the time for jesting
was over.

I have all the trumps in my hand.

In that room upstairs,
there's a woman under arrest

who has forfeited her life by aiding
the enemies of the Republic.

What woman?

Lady Blakeney.

Is the game up, Sir Percy?

Is this the last adventure?

I give up, Chauvelin.

What next?

There is a firing squad outside.

And my wife?

The Revolutionary Tribunal.

That means death!

It would have meant my death
if I had not caught you!

Don't be alarmed, Sir Percy.

I don't want your wife's life.

She's free the moment you die.

I offer you a pact.

If you promise to say
nothing to her...

If you'll send her on to
my ship immediately...

I'll walk up in front
of your firing squad.

I accept.


Bring milady down.


I wanted to give
my life to save you.

- Forgive me, Percy.
- My dear, it's nothing!

I'm in no danger.


I want to...

I want to die with you!

Don't move, Chauvelin.

Our parting would be too cruel,
even for you.

Just take her out
while she's still unconscious.

My boat should be
at the point by now.

Good bye, my sweet.

It's good to know that...

That you loved me...

A little.


Send this lady to the English ship
around the point.

If anybody attempts
to land, shoot!

Yes, Citizen.

You two go with him.

Do you like poetry,
Monsieur Chauvelin?

"That damned elusive Pimpernel".

No, no... I mean, uh, poetry.

"This other Eden, demiparadise"

"This fortress built
by nature for herself"

"Against infection
and the hand of war"

"This happy breed of men"

"This little world"

"This precious stone,
set in the silver sea"

"This blessed plot"

"This earth"

"This realm"

"This England"

Oh, damn me, I forget the rest.

Firing party, halt!

Left turn!

Ground muskets!


Zounds, now it appears I shan't
have time to remember.

Shoulder muskets!

Left turn!

Quick march!







I'm so sorry, Monsieur Chauvelin,
I had to come back for my hat.

It's such a cursed good hat,
you know.

Now, now, don't look
at me like that!

Sink me, if you don't think
I'm my own ghost.


Captain Duroc?

I'm afraid it will be
an hour or so

before poor Captain Duroc
will be able to resume his duty.

I regret that I struck him
rather violently.

Seize him!

Always so impulsive,
my dear Monsieur Chauvelin.

This, ah...

is my firing squad.

Allow me to present
Ffoulkes, Dewhurst...

Hastings, Belville,
and the rest.

But of course
you know all about them.

You look rather excited, Chauvelin.

I think you need cooling down.


Just a peaceful little nap...

Like we had
in the Grenville library.

Are we really free, Percy?

Not you, darling.

Chauvelin said you'd be free
the moment I died.

It won't be a moment sooner.

Land ahead!

Look, Marguerite!