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"Pimpernel" Smith (1941)

Pimpernel" Smith

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Eccentric Cambridge archaeologist Horatio Smith takes a group of British and American archaeology students to pre-war Nazi Germany to help in his excavations. His research is supported by the Nazis, since he professes to be looking for evidence of the Aryan origins of German civilisation. However, he has a secret agenda: to free inmates of the concentration camps. During one such daring rescue, he hides disguised as a scarecrow in a field and is inadvertently shot by a German soldier idly engaging in a bit of target practice. Wounded, he still manages to free a famous pianist from a work gang. Later, his students guess his secret when they read about the wound in a newspaper. They enthusiastically volunteer to assist him.

German General von Graum is assigned to find out the identity of the latter-day Scarlet Pimpernel and eliminate him. Von Graum forces Ludmilla Koslowski to help him by threatening the life of her father, a Polish democrat, held prisoner. When Smith finds out, he promises her he will free Koslowski.

Smith and his students, masquerading as American journalists, visit the camp in which Koslowski is being held. They overpower their escort, put on their uniforms, and leave with Koslowski and some other inmates. By now, von Graum is sure Smith is the man he is after, so he stops the train transporting the professor and various packing crates out of the country. However, when he has the crates opened, he is disappointed to find only artefacts inside.

Von Graum still has Ludmilla, so Smith comes back for her. The general catches the couple at a border crossing. In return for Ludmilla's freedom, Smith agrees to give himself up. Smith tells Graum that the artefacts he has discovered disprove Nazi claims about the Aryan origins of the Germans. He predicts the Nazis will destroy themselves. In the end, Smith manages to distract his adversary and escape into the fog, but promises to come back.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article ""Pimpernel" Smith", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.