King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for ... See full summary »
King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for revolution, and has him sent off to Spain to be raised in secret to ensure a peaceful future for France. Alas, keeping the secret means sending Constance, lover of D'Artagnan, off to a convent. D'Artagnan hears of this and rallies the Musketeers in a bid to rescue her. Unfortunately, Richelieu out-smarts the Musketeers and banishes them forever. Richelieu enlists D'Artagnan to look after and protect the young prince. Meanwhile, de Rochefort learns of the twins and Richelieu's plans, and kidnaps the twin, raising him in secret. Many years later, with Richelieu dead and the young prince crowned King Louis XIV, Rochefort launches his plan. The king is kidnapped, replaced with his twin, put in an iron mask so as not to be recognized, and led off to a remote castle to be held prisoner. Louis XIV is able to ... Written by
Theron Trowbridge <Tmonk@concentric.net>
In this film, the Four Musketeers - Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan - all sleep together in one bed, with the French phrase 'Un Pour Tous, Tous Pour Un' (One For All, All For One) inscribed on the headboard. See more »
Wonderful! (Especially the re-release with Jr's narration)
Let me begin by stating that I am reviewing the 1952 re-release version with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr's narration (written, I might add, by Richard Llewellyn of "How Green Was My Valley" fame). Fairbanks the younger's delivery of Llewellyn's words is shear poetry! I know this version has been cut and usually I prefer films as they were originally intended, but in this case I'll make an exception since DFJ's narration really makes the film for me. (Still, it would be nice to see how the original "talkie" bits sounded in the elder Fairbank's voice. I might have to catch the restored original too.) Aside from the joy of listening to DFJ's beautiful voice bring his father's work to life for me, I must say I really enjoyed the picture itself. I've seen both the 1939 version with Louis Hayward and the 1977 version with Richard Chamberlain, and while both of those are very good, this one might be the best of the three. Thanks to Fairbanks, Sr. of course it probably has the best action sequences, but the over all acting is also quite wonderful. I must say I was especially impressed with William Blakewell in the duel role of the twins, Nigel De Brulier as Richelieu, and Ullrich Haupt as the villain De Rochefort. This was Fairbanks' final silent film, and his acting here is at its best. He makes a perfect D'Artagnan! The sets and costumes are also magnificent here! Fairbanks pretty much wrote the script too--even though he disguised that fact somewhat by using his middle names in the credits. The credits read story by Elton Thomas; Fairbanks' full birth name was Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman. Maybe he figured that having his name in the credits as both star and producer was enough. And although the storyline varies in many important ways in the Haywood version 10 years later, in other ways it follows Fairbanks' ending quite closely. (It's been years since I saw the 1977 version, but I think its plot is not as close. I do remember it had some marvelous acting in it, but considering it starred Richard Chamberlain, Sir Ralph Richardson, Louis Jourdan, and Patrick McGoohan, how could it not?) Anyway back to the 1929 version--I've seen more than my share of Three Musketeers films and this is one of the best!
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