I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Awesome Adaptations (7) - The Scarlet Pimpernel

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week there is a new category of adaptation to blog about. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let them know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An awesome adaptation of an adventurous tale
Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel
Adapted from The Scarlet Pimpernel and El Dorado by Baroness Orczy

This is one of my favorite books ever, and one that I think not enough people know about.  It is a period drama with romance, adventure, humor, and fantastic characters.  This adaptation is the best because the script, casting and approach is spot on.  Anthony Andrews is especially a revelation as the dashing hero.  If you don't know the story the identity of the Pimpernel is a secret for the first half of the book.  But this adaptation does reveal it within the first few minutes, and this an interesting example of how a book can not always be directly adapted to screen.  As well as the ending of The Scarlet Pimpernel would be very difficult to film, so this adaptation takes the ending of a later book, El Dorado, and works it into the film very well.

The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues innocent aristocrats and peasants during the bloody French Revolution - often under the noses of the French soldiers because of the Pimpernel's masterful disguises and cunning plans.  He also has a band of close friends to help him, saving the victims of the Revolution only out of a duty to fairness and justice.  The Pimpernel's disguises in this adaptation are fantastic, as Anthony Andrews changes his posture, voice and mannerisms as well as his look to suit the disguise and it is all a convincing, understated act.  The Pimpernel must also save one of his own men and through his cleverness, wit and prowess with a sword, of course he wins the day.  The sword fight near the end between the Pimpernel and his nemesis, Chauvelin is immensely entertaining.  It technically looks realistic and dangerous, but the Pimpernel is clearly the better swordsman and has fun at Chauvelin's expense.  I think this a most awesome adaptation of an awesome book!

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  1. ROFL! Okay great minds think alike :) We are totally on the same wave length Char :)

    1. LOL! I was this close to picking the musical version too! But then I thought, what would Alisa pick? jk! :P