Wednesday, May 29, 2013

If Percy Went Postal...

Sooooooo the other night I was watching an episode of Columbo, which if you didn't know, is a mystery series about a police detective (Peter Falk, whom you may be more familiar with as the grandfather on The Princess Bride) who solves crime. This particular episode was called "Columbo Goes to the Guillotine", and it was about him solving a particularly bizarre case where a man was murdered by a magician's guillotine. The murderer was none other than (SPOILERS)...our own Anthony Andrews (yes, Leaguettes, I think we can say he's "ours"...and yes, that was the whole reason why I watched the episode. I am not ashamed...).

Of course, as a fangirl I found it highly amusing (in a highly morbid way) that Anthony Andrews would be a murderer who used...a guillotine. Of all things, ya know. Makes you wonder (even though I haven't yet found any evidence to support my suspicion) if it was a coincidence. Probably not. But it is funny. He was a delicious villain, have to admit. Enjoyed it immensely - and I have to admit at giggling when he stroked the guillotine and went on about how it would be "a dreadful way to die". Call it Percy cracking. The stress of being the Pimpernel finally getting to him. Percy murders with a gullotine! Horrors! Whatever. Anyway. Just a tidbit I thought y'all might enjoy. :D

(and THANK YOU so much to everyone for the wonderful birthday surprise! I love our wee community so all made my day!!!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

We Interrupt This Program for a Birthday...

Sink me, m’dears, if it isn’t an auspicious day today!  The courier arrived only this morning with news that one of the League’s most loyal female members (one who calls herself a Leaguette, a deuced pretty name if I do say so, though it doesn’t rhyme in any places) is celebrating the anniversary of her birth, and in honor of the occasion I thought it appropriate to take pen in hand and commemorate the day.

M’dear Alexandra--

You have reached the noble age of four-and-twenty, a fine age if I remember correctly, which I don’t.  I suppose I must have been a grand chap at four-and-twenty, but sink me, I can’t recall a bit of it.  Let us hope you will grace the year with a more memorable presence than I ever did. 

Now is the time to make something of your life.  
Evil and injustice, you see, have not died quite yet. Not many have both the intelligence and the desire to fight it.   As a friend of mine in possession of a peculiar blue box once said, “Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice.... and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on... we’ve got work to do!”   Perhaps you may think I am not serious, but I am.  Deadly serious.  If I believe in just one thing, I believe in you.  

Dashed inconvenient, your living in America, you know.  I'd pop across the pond to wish you many happy returns of the day in person if I could, but I fear my yacht wouldn't survive the journey.  However, I've got a handful of young admirers who seem quite delighted to take the task upon themselves, and one of them--a muffin, a melody, something of the sort--has written a pretty little thing that rhymes in four places to express our sentiments, don't you see.  And if a rhyme rhymes, it makes a poem, if you follow me.

They seek her here, they seek her there
The Leaguettes seek her everywhere
The birthday girl they all must tell
Happy Birthday, Miss Pimpernel!

*tosses gorgeous imaginary birthday cake and heaps of lovely pretend presents* Yours, I believe.

Much love,

along with
Eowyn, Miss Melody Muffin, Miss Dashwood, Hayden and Maria Elisabeth

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1937)

You seek him here, you seek him there
And you're serenely unaware
He's at your elbow lunching well
That Elusive Pimpernel!

Well how do ye do? Anna here! I haven't commented in quite some time and I'm sad about that fact. Sink me, I am! As you may recall the last time I posted, I was nearly cast out of the League for daring to suggest that Percy had faults. ;) Well, today's post won't be so controversy....I don't think. As the title says, I am doing a movie review on the wonderful "Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel" from 1937. I had never really heard of it before a few days ago - or I had but thought it'd be dreadful since Leslie Howard wasn't in it - but I gave it a try anyway. Oh my. It was so much better than I was expecting! Without further ado -- my review! {Sink me, I'm a poet, and you did not know it, what!} Also, excuse all the pictures...I went a little over-board. *wink*

I died from laughter when I saw this cover. He's not Zorro! What's with his mask??
And They're not in what's with her dress?? o.O Also - look at the top writing.
Robespierre is executing any one he even suspects of being a traitor, and now he is fed up with the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel. He informs Chauvelin that if he does not catch or kill the Englishman then it will not go well with Chauvelin. Taking the hint, Chauvelin gets a French actress to go over seas and spy out Blakeney {who he of course knows is the Scarlet Pimpernel since this movie is supposed to be a sequel to the '34 Leslie Howard film}. After playing a trap on Marguerite, the actress and her helpers kidnap Marguerite and take her across the channel to France -- knowing that Percy will soon follow. Gathering his League together, Sir Percy goes to Paris to rescue his wife - who is now with child. <3
Chauvelin: "Help me!" Percy: "Help you!? I've got to get my wife out of here!"
So I read somewhere that it's based after the books "The Elusive Pimpernel" and two others which I haven't read, yet. It made me quite happy since, of the three books I have read {The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Elusive Pimpernel, and El Dorado}, The Elusive Pimpernel is by far my favorite one. Yes, even the illustrious El Dorado is a little below TEP. :) 

Sir Percival Blakeney
The first scene with him certainly does not make him jump to the top of the list of "Amazing Sir Percy's" since he is playing cricket and has the worst outfit in the history of worst outfits! {Yes, it's worse than his cravats from the '34 TSP...if that is even possible.} But the moment he actually started talking, he gradually grew on me. Now I really love him. True, he's no Anthony Andrews or Leslie Howard {who are in my book are tied as equally perfect Sir Percy's - yes. I did just say that}, but Barry K Barnes is very, very good and close to them. 
The coat he's wearing has little flowers all over it.....Scarlet Pimpernels, to be precise.... *snort* Real discrete there, Percy.
My only issue with him? He looks too scared and startled at times - which is very unlike Percy. I also wish he played the fop a little more -- but, the majority takes place in France, so yeah. He does have some pretty good disguises, though! My favorite is when he plays a half-deaf guy. *smirk*

Marguerite Blakeney
Sir Andrew, Marguerite, and I believe that's Hastings or Tony {it usually is}.
She was good. She's not quite up there with Jane Seymore or Merle Oberon, but she is good. I think that Sophie Stewart, the actress in this one, is a little too foolish and naive for my liking - and she's lacking that strength she has in the book and which Jane and Merle pulled off so marvelously. But then again, Jane and Merle didn't make her all that naive, and Marguerite is a little naive and foolish in the book - so....perhaps Sophie is not so bad after all.... ;)

Sir Andrew Ffoulkes

As you may or may not know {probably not}, Andrew is my favorite of the League {I named my red camera after him *wink*}. Well, I should say, he's my favorite followed closely by Armand {Don't stone me!}. I always loved his close-knit friendship with Percy in TSP'34 {which I grew up watching since I was about ten}, and since the books states that Percy thought of him as his best friend - well, of course I loved him even more!

Thus, you can imagine the fan-girly squeal I let out when I saw Sir Andrew in this movie. He was played by Anthony Bushell -- the same guy who played his character in TSP'34!!! As much as I do love the awkward Andrew Ffoulkes from TSP'82, I don't believe anyone played him better than this guy. Of course Sir Andrew was simply amazing in this movie, too. <3

Francis Lister as Chauvelin
Oh my goodness, I loved him -- and I have never felt even a teensy-weensy bit bad for him in the other adaptations, nor the book. I really believe they captured his character well. It definitely shows that he is in danger of his life if he doesn't capture or kill the Scarlet Pimpernel, yet at the same time not making him the victim. He also respects Percy - which I like....not sure how book-accurate that is, though. Very well done, in my mind. 
He's also got an extremely funny line where he says something and it rhymes. Then he laughs and goes "Ha! That rhymed! I must have been around that Blakeney fellow too long! I should write it down and see if I can put it to use later." Of course Sir Percy is sitting right next to him in a disguise...which makes that bit even funnier. *giggle* He's so much better than Chauvelin from TSP'34. So much better. But then again, I don't care for that actor, so....maybe that's why..... *wink* This Chauvelin is great, though. Simply great!
James Mason as Jean Tallien and Margaretta Scott as Teresa Cobarrus.

Look! It's a young James Mason! In case you're not sure who James Mason is, he was in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" as the bad-guy who was after Cary Grant. :) He was also in about a hundred other films. He's got a really cool deep voice. :) 

My Thoughts
I loved it. In my mind, it is only slightly below the '34 and '82 versions and equal to "Pimpernel Smith", which Eowyn reviewed. It's harder to compare this to the two well-known ones because it is a different story line. As I said before - I love it. Would I recommend it to all ages? Absolutely! Unlike the '34 adaptation, there is no language in it! *glares at the screenwriter of the Leslie Howard film for making Chauvelin use dreadful language near the end*. And unlike the '82 adaptation, there are no questionably inappropriate scenes *glares the those writers now*. I'll stop now before I give anything good away. :) 

Oh, and guess what? You can watch the entire movie on youtube, here. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts on it? Have you even heard of it? Let me know! 
Sink Me!