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Edward Everett Horton
A lad jousting with his tutor is kidnaped and carried to the Bastille where his head is locked in an iron mask. Jump ten years: Musketeers return from war in Morocco to find Paris starving ... 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 the prologue, the four musketeers stand in a framing device, as a medieval stage booth, and D'Artagnan steps forward and speaks to the audience, then steps back and resumes his position with the other three, who remained motionless; after the mid-point intermission, the same situation is repeated, with D'Artagnan speaking again to the audience, finishing with the words, "once more, once more...", after which the film resumes with the title card "20 years later". These were the two Douglas Fairbanks' first scenes with spoken dialogue, in his last silent film. See more »
This is an entertaining version of the legend, familiar from the Dumas novels and numerous movies, of the Musketeers and "The Iron Mask". D'Artagnan is a very good role for Douglas Fairbanks, and as always he makes his character human, likable, and energetic. The story-telling is straightforward, but it has plenty of action and moves at a good pace. The version that has the added narration by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. also works well. The narrative is well-written and lively, and nicely complements the action on-screen.
The old-fashioned style of filming works pretty well for this kind of story, Fairbanks is in his element, and he gets good support from the rest of the cast as well. This is a fun feature for anyone who likes silent films.
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