Elusive Pimpernel (1951, starring David Niven)
Another US big-screen attempt that scores plenty for
style but considered by some to have little in the way of
substance. This version has been canned by some SP fans
around the world because of Niven's appearance as Sir Percy.
David Niven was the British flavour of the decade in Hollywood
at the time and it was only a matter of time before he starred
in an action hero role. Unfortunately for some Scarlet Pimpernel
fans it was this film. One criticism of Niven is that he
plays the Pimpernel too straight, unlike Anthony Andrews
E. Grant, who both took delight in playing up the character's
foppish behaviour in their TV roles. One
David Niven: didn't play the foppish
Blakeny as well as Andrews or Grant. (Below) Margaret
Leighton is Niven's leading lady
interesting feature of this film is the
appearance of Patrick Macnee as one of Sir Percy's sidekicks.
Mcnee would later establish himself as a popular action
hero in the acclaimed British '60s series The Avengers.