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Inspired by Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, Pimpernel Smith stays true to the source material while allowing director and star Leslie Howard to present a thought-provoking and entertaining dramatic work.
Horatio Smith (Leslie Howard, Gone with the Wind), a Cambridge Professor of Archaeology, persuades several of his students to accompany him to pre-war Germany on a dig. Smith easily wins the support of the Nazis who believe the excavation will unearth the Aryan history of Germany. However, Smith’s true objective is to free those held in nearby concentration camps.
The façade of a meek and mild-mannered professor by day will give way to the daring and heroic “Pimpernel” by night as Smith and his students, deducing who their teacher really is, set forth on their mission.