The Scarlet Pimpernel: Madamoiselle Guillotine

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Historical

After depositing his comely daughter Helene (Julie Cox) at a convent, the Marquis de Rochambeau (Peter Jeffrey) has fled Revolutionary France for safer haven in England. Agreeing to retrieve Helene for the displaced nobleman, Sir Percy Blakeney, better known to fans of the Baroness Orczy's timeless novels as the Scarlet Pimpernel, soon learns that his nemesis...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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After depositing his comely daughter Helene (Julie Cox) at a convent, the Marquis de Rochambeau (Peter Jeffrey) has fled Revolutionary France for safer haven in England. Agreeing to retrieve Helene for the displaced nobleman, Sir Percy Blakeney, better known to fans of the Baroness Orczy's timeless novels as the Scarlet Pimpernel, soon learns that his nemesis Chauvelin (Martin Shaw) has been ordered to locate Helene for use as a bargaining chip against the Marquis. Unfortunately for them both — to say nothing of Helene herself — Citizeness Damiens (Denise Black) intends to send the aristocratic young woman to the guillotine. Fortunately, Helene has already joined the resistance movement led by her lover Henri (James Cullis). Not so fortunately, when Damiens discovers Helene's flight from the convent, she orders the rape and murder of the nuns. With Henri's assistance, Sir Percy appropriates the papers of Chauvelin and his henchman and insinuates himself into Damiens' good graces. Will Damiens get wind of Henri's plan to raid her town? Historical melodramas have experienced a resurgence since the Broadway success of overstuffed period musicals like LES MISERABLES and — here's a coincidence — SCARLET PIMPERNEL. Although A&E's latest entry in its Pimpernel series doesn't include any musical showstoppers, it's an entertaining blend of historical fact and poetic license, exciting swordplay and Machiavellian maneuvers. But will viewers be able to separate Republicans from Royalists as Helene becomes a trophy coveted by a large cast of players? On the Royalist side, Grant and Elizabeth McGovern, playing Blakeney's indispensable wife Marguerite, come across a little too much like Nick and Nora Charles in periwigs, but Black gives viewers a fascinating Republican monster in Citizeness Damiens; she's Madame De Farge with a better body.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: After depositing his comely daughter Helene (Julie Cox) at a convent, the Marquis de Rochambeau (Peter Jeffrey) has fled Revolutionary France for safer haven in England. Agreeing to retrieve Helene for the displaced nobleman, Sir Percy Blakeney, better kno… (more)

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