Friday, October 06, 2006

They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There

The other night, I caught the last half of a movie I hadn't seen in a long time. A movie that I've probably seen at least 15 times since it was produced in 1982. A movie starring, strangely enough, Jane Seymour. (I'm not a huge fan; especially when she tries to do a Southern or American accent. I mean, why couldn't they have just changed it to Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman From England? That would have made it easier on all of us. Not that I ever really watched Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman, but I'm just sayin'.)

Anyway, this film also stars Anthony Andrews, and a very young (and already quite quirky) Sir Ian McKellen. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's your next hint:

"Sink me, the lady's a poet!"

If you remember that line, we need to talk.

After I first saw The Scarlet Pimpernel in high school, it quickly became my all-time favorite romantic movie. (Followed closely by "Somewhere In Time." Hum the theme song with me now . . .) Anthony Andrews was soooo dreamy, with that whole "I'm pretending to be an effeminate fop but secretly I'm a very masculine manly intelligent man" thing he had going on. And Jane Seymour didn't know! And he couldn't tell her! But she married him anyway! (And why was that, again?) And then he thought she betrayed him (which I HATED - stuff like that in movies always makes me SO uncomfortable. I can't stand it when characters are kept apart by misunderstandings and/or lack of information. Except in the A&E Pride and Prejudice, but that's mostly because I have Jennifer Ehle's performance to enjoy, and Colin Firth to look at.) What was I saying? Colin Firth . . .

So I asked my husband, the trusty Steve, if he'd ever seen The Scarlet Pimpernel.

"The one with Jane Seymour and Gandalf?" he asked. "My sisters loved that movie."

I told him that I and all of my friends had loved it, too, and we thought Anthony Andrews was to die for.

"Yeah. My sisters did, too. I never understood that. Wasn't he, uh, really effeminate?"

Yes, I explained. But that was his personna, you see. He had to pretend to be a fop. It was a matter of life and death!

"Okay, but even when he wasn't using his personna, wasn't he still, pretty much, really effeminate?"

My teenage heart wanted to cry out "No!", but having just seen part of the film, I had to agree. Yes, Steve. Yes, he was. But we loved him anyway. He fought for truth and justice and he wore a cape and hid in a tree and rescued Jane Seymour. And that was enough for us.

And so my question, dear readers, is this: Did you, too, love this movie? Did you fall victim to Anthony Andrews' girlish charm, and long to sail away with him into the poorly-filmed fake sunset?

If not, who were the movie men who made your teenage heart swoon?


skanky chris said...

I've always been a huge fan of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've often questioned why she would have married the fop in the first place. Anyway. . .
My teenage heart had a thing for Rob Lowe although I never saw most of his movies, ya know, with them being rated "R" and all. I also really liked Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride and then there was that whole Christian Bale in Newsies phase I went through. I also got severe heart flutters for the guy in that silly movie about horses jumping off of diving boards. And of course Gilbert Blythe.

PS I ended up leaving the toy store empty handed. But that's not your fault.

metamorphose said...

But weren't all men foppish and effeminate during that period in time? Wasn't that all the rage?

Loved me some Scarlet Pimpernel...think I may have to add that to my netflix queue.

Bek said...

I never saw the movie but we saw the Broadway show about 20 times. I have the soundtrack and LOVE it...I should watch the movie.

I was a sad, sad child b/c the first movie I can remember that I loved was in Middle School. Grease 2. Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I was sad. :-)

Deb said...

It was all about Val Kilmer for me.

Emmie said...

Poor Adam. He would have really loved having that gigantic ball to push around the house.

P.S. "Open the gates and seize the day!"

Emmie said...

Very good point.

"David walked into the valley
With a stone clutched in his hand
He was only a boy
But he knew someone MUST take a stand . . ."

Kiki said...

But he's BRITISH!

I LOVE THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL!!! It is one of my all-time favorite movies too! I did fall for Anthony Andrews, but then again, almost every guy I've been in love with or crushed on was effeminate and is now gay.

Anyway...I love what he's wearing at the end of the movie when he's dueling with Sir Ian.

Kiki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kiki said...

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LOVING GREASE 2! I'm sorry I'm so yelly today, but I just want to be emphatic. GREASE 2 is THE BOMB!

Emily said...

I agree: Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride was a dream. Also, Christian Slater in Heathers. River Phoenix in general. I had a thing for those pretty effeminatish boys. Will also add Pimpernel to my queue.

Emily said...

Also, B. Pitt in A River Runs Through It. Another pretty boy.

AzĂșcar said...

Wait...what's that?

The giant, universe crushing sound? As if all creation will be undone?

Oh yeah. that's Grease 2 sucking.

Of COURSE I loved the Scarlet Pimpernell. The fop thing didn't bother me as there was that one scene where he drops the act in front of Seymour. That's where you see his soul and to a 14 year old girl, it was delicious. I think I read far too many Georgette Heyer books and saw more than my fair share of BBC productions as a teenager.

Let's see, my girlhood crushes:
Will Wheaton (for my nerdy side)
Robert Sean Leonard (Dead Poets)
Julian Sands (Room with a View)
Daniel Day Lewis (Last of the Mohicans...I think I even had a picture in my locker by the orchestra stars)
The guy from Sixteen Candles (although it may have been the Porsche)

That's enough embarassment for now.

Emmie said...

I have a story about Robert Sean.

When I lived in NYC, my friend was in a play with him, and would often talk to us about "Bobby Sean." A few months after her show ended, she invited me to a little Thanksgiving party at her apartment. I had a cold, and wasn't feeling very social, so I decided not to go. When my roommate returned from the party, she informed me that Bobby Sean had been there, and had stayed all evening long! Stupid cold.

P.S. In my locker by the orchestra room I had a picture of the Monkees. Yes, you read that right, kids: The Monkees.

Kiki said...

My young girl crushes:

Christopher Reeve...HELLO!
Dale Murphy
Kirk Cameron
Ricky Silver Spoons
Jonathan Knight
Charles Groden (Yeah...I fell for him in a little movie called "The Great Muppet Caper".)
Chad Allen (It would set the course of a lifetime of disappointment in boys.)

I just want to say that the last four letters of my word verification are "fbyu". RUDE!

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

"Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in Heaven or is he in...Hell(The ladies feign offense)
That demmed elusive Pimpernel."

"Sink me, my dear, if I knew that I'd be the toast of London, what?"

I think I had the whole movie memorized at one point.

As for teenage crushes, I didn't give in to that a whole lot, but I dearly loved me my "Moonlighting" and I was going to marry Bruce Willis one day. Also, Duran Duran. Probably John Taylor most of all and there's your effeminite theme again.

Anonymous said...

The Scarlet Pimpernel--I could've watched it everyday without tiring of it (wait a second, I think I did).

The foppish part was fun, but the part that sent my heart to fluttering was the running away in the wagon with the Dauphin. He has that five o'clock shadow from the disguise and the rough clothes and blonde ponytail and is DREAMY!

I've always had quirky taste in my movie boyfriends, I fell in love with the character more than the looks-- but some may strike a chord--

Cary Elwes--Lady Jane

Mel Gibson--Forever Young (this one is out of character for me but I saw that moive twice just to watch him--I didn't like the movie)

Kenneth Branugh (sp?) Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V

Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Laurence Olivier, and Dana Andrews (for ye olde movie lovers out there)

The bratty friend on Silver Spoons and later on Its Your Move (this was a younger fascination).

ALL Jane Austen movies leading men!--even if I don't like them in other movies.

The nice thing about being single is that I can still fall desperately in love (without any guilt) over the silver screen hotties--I fast-forward through Bend It Like Beckham just to hear the guy talk with the Irish accent.


Emmie said...

I seem to recall rewinding Scarlet Pimpernel and watching that forest scene several times; especially the part when he's hiding in the tree . . .

Jen said...

Is it too late to post a comment on a nearly year-old post? Jannah sent me a link to your blog and I have spent much of the last two days reading all your old posts! I love your blog! You've inspired me to start my own. I thought blogging was for wierdos with agendas living in their mother's basements. Anyway, this posting made me want to respond urgently. Sink me!! What a great film. I believe when my husband and I were dating, I took him to the musical version of this--I vaguely recall it (not nearly what the movie was). I must watch it again soon. Thank you.