1982’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Anthony Andrews… and Ian McKellen, whom I forgot was the main protagonist. He makes it worth seeing, in sort of a sniveling Roddy McDowell type role. Though lavishly produced, the film sags and strains like an old ship. The action is minimal. And surprisingly, very little horse-riding or carriage-chasing. -Though it seems half the movie takes place at a Paris-gate, with Andrews and his gang fooling the same guard-crew repeatedly, using props and disguises to smuggle people out of the city.
And we barely get a sense of ‘the guillotine’ being frighteningly sinister. Aristocrats could’ve just as easily been shot in the head.
Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes has a great role as England’s Crown Prince, but is utterly underused. So’s Jane Seymour for that matter… with black hair. It doesn’t do anything for her. And if you’re not a McKellen fan, the movie probably won’t do anything for you either.