“Pimpernel” Smith (1941) is a British anti-Nazi thriller film directed by Leslie Howard, and featuring Leslie Howard (Professor Horatio Smith), Francis L. Sullivan (General von Graum), Allan Jeayes (Dr. Benckendorf), Mary Morris (Ludmilla Koslowski) and Hugh McDermott (David Maxwell).

The film is based on the novels, ‘Pimpernel Smith’ by A. G. Macdonell, and ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

A Tribute to Leslie Howard

The director, Leslie Howard (also seen to the left of the thumbnail), was inspired to create this film after witnessing a rise in pro-Nazi sentiment in the early 1940s. Unbeknownst to Howard himself, who died shortly after the release of the film, his work would be far-reaching, prompting then-Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, to devise a rescue mission for tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews in Nazi captivity, successfully saving many lives.

Rest in peace, Leslie Howard.

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