We bitch about remakes here at Frock Flicks, and I know there are big fans of the 1934 Scarlet Pimpernel out there. But I’m going to sing the praises of the 1982 Scarlet Pimpernel today. Because when you have 48 years between a substantial remake (which is almost as long as I’ve been alive), it might as well be a wholly new movie. Or at least different enough that we can appreciate both on their own merits.
In the ’80s TV movie version, we have Anthony Andrews as the elusive Pimpernel, Jane Seymour as his lady-love Marguerite, and Ian McKellen as the bad guy Chauvelin. Oh, and a certain Julian Fellowes (better known as the writer of Downton Abbey) has a cameo as the Prince Regent of England.
The setting is ostensibly the 1790s, but the costumes seem rather befitting the decade previous. However, the costumes are still sumptuously excellent for that period along with the wigs and hair. It’s only the women’s makeup that’s egregiously off.
How do you feel about this version of The Scarlet Pimpernel?