This Week’s Underappreciated Movies

Every Monday, each of us will suggest a film that we feel too few people have seen.


Windy’s Pick of the Week: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

This is one of my favorite romantic superhero movies. (The original novel is also very effective for all that it is undoubtedly a period novel.) The 1934 version stars Leslie Howard (from Gone With the Wind) as our sly and secretive super-hero spy, and the amazingly exotic and sexy Merle Oberon as his clever, passionate wife. Percy Blakeney is unabashedly heroic, and dashingly romantic – a man who is sacrificing his own marriage to his personal code of honor amid the Reign of Terror in Paris. His unknowing wife is caught in a web of intrigue, inadvertently betraying her own husband to the vile Chavelin (played by the wonderful Raymond Massey). As the net tightens around them both, whatever shall our daring hero do?


Melissa’s Pick of the Week: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

Sure, this film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2001, but I still don’t think it gets enough love. Set in Victorian era British-occupied India, Lagaan tells the story of a poor rural town who bets its taxes that it can form a cricket team and beat the expert team formed by the cruel British rulers. The ever-charismatic Aamir Khan leads the ragtag band of farmers through cricket training. It’s Bollywood, it’s a musical, it’s epic, and it’s an underdog sports movie. What’s not to love?


  1. Hmm. I may have to watch that Pimpernel to see how it stands up against the Richard E Grant / Elizabeth McGovern TV movie series. (What? I had a ridiculous screen-crush on E. McG. back then. Mock if you must.)

    1. No judgement here! Your screen-crush matches my screen-crush on Richard E. Grant, anyway…

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