The film features an early screen appearance by David Tomlinson.
This movie is especially notable for helping to inspire Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg to mount a real-life rescue operation in Budapest that, conservatively estimated, saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi concentration camps.
A seemingly absent-minded archeology professor, Horatio Smith (Howard) helps refugees escape from the Gestapo. During one daring rescue, he is wounded, which reveals his secret to his admiring students. They enthusiastically join him in his fight.
But things are complicated when one of his students brings him a mysterious woman in distress, Ludmilla Koslowski (Morris). When her father's life is threatened by the Gestapo, she is forced to secretly work for the enemy. Smith engages in a game of cat-and-mouse with his ruthless adversary, General von Graum (Sullivan), who has been assigned to track him down.
The film was a major inspiration for Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who went undercover in Hungary during the last months of the war to smuggle Jews out of the country. As such, the film helped save the lives of 15,000 Jews.
- Leslie Howard as Professor Horatio Smith
- Francis L. Sullivan as General von Graum
- Mary Morris as Ludmilla Koslowski
- Hugh McDermott as David Maxwell
- Raymond Huntley as Marx
- Manning Whiley as Bertie Gregson
- Peter Gawthorne as Sidimir Koslowski
- Allan Jeayes as Dr. Beckendorf
- Dennis Arundell as Hoffman
- 'Pimpernel' Smith (1941) at screenonline.org.uk
- Pimpernel Smith stills from BlakeneyManor.com
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