Off to the movies
David Niven
Not quite the dandy

The 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 or Richard 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.

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