(Harold Young, 1934) · Based on Baroness Orczy's novel of the same name, The Scarlet Pimpernel stars Leslie Howard as a fabulously foppish 18th-century English aristocrat who leads a double life rescuing French aristocrats from the post-Revolution "Reign of Terror." One of Britain's earliest blockbusters to perform well in the United States, the film is also notable for being the first to feature the archetype of an undercover hero, which would pave the way for figures ranging from Zorro to Batman in the decades to come.
runtime: 97m format: 16mm
(Boris Ingster, 1940) · Often cited as the first "true" film noir of the classic period (1940-1959), Stranger on the Third Floor features an innocent protagonist falsely accused of a crime who is desparate to clear himself. Reporter Michael Ward is the key witness to a murder and is soon accused of a similar crime himself. Print courtesy of the Library of Congress
runtime: 64m format: 35mm