Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scarlet Pimpernel

I finally watched The Scarlet Pimpernel last night. It's set during the Reign of Terror after the beginning of the French Revolution. It is a different view than those stories that glorify the Republic and the ridding society of Aristocracy. It's a good movie, though it's "old"--made in 1982.

The Pimpernel is a underground hero, saving innocent aristocrats from the infamous guillotine. By day, he plays the foppish English dandy, Sir Percy Blakeney, but he is really the fearless swashbuckling hero, whose identity isn't even known to his wife. The revelation, is of course, a major plot point.

I'm not sure how I'd feel about this movie if I were French. It plays the Engilsh hero against ruthless guillotine-happy French libertines, fighting for the Republic.

It's interesting because it's a precursor to the hidden identity-hero--who plays a fop or bumbler for the public eye. This was written sixteen years before ZORRO appeared, and of course Superman and even Batman also come to mind.

If you're interested in superheros and the evolution of heroic tales--or if you've seen Zorro--or even better, read Isabel Allende's version of his development in her novel ZORRO, you would thoroughly enjoy this movie!

1 comment:

*Karla* said...

My granddaughter loves Super Heros I will have to email her this page or fb it.