Thanks to Film4 in the UK, I was reminded this week how good the 1941 film Pimpernel Smith is. Starring Leslie Howard, it is an updating of Emma Orczy's novel Scarlet Pimpernel. Rather than set in the days of the French Revolution, the action is transferred to Nazi Germany; and rather than a foppish dandy, the hero is an archaeologist.
The film is certainly of historical interest as it is one of the first films to discuss concentration camps. But it is also of interest to classicists, as a discussion of the Venus Callipyge is where the viewer first meets Professor Smith.
Of course the film is propaganda (it is said that Winston Churchill was a fan), but it is also great fun. Here is the final monologue from the film... much better than Humphrey Bogart at the airport.