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American aviator Tom Wayne (John Wayne)and his co-pilot, Stubbs (Noah Beery Jr.)are flying over an African desert when they see trouble below...Arab bandits are attacking three troopers of the French Foreign Legion. Using the machine gun mounted on his airplane, Wayne quickly stops the Arab attack. The rescued Legionaires---Clancy (Jack Mulhall), Renard (Raymond Hatton) and Dutch Schmidt (Ralph Bushman)introduce themselves as "The Three Musketeers." They inform Wayne that the attackers were followers of "The Devil's Circle," a fanatic cult out to destroy the Foreign Legion by gun-running and insurrection. The cult's leader is El Shaitan, a masked man whose real identity is known to none. Wayne is drawn into the fight through the encouragement of his new friends, and a call for help from an old friend, Armand Corday (Lon Chaney Jr.), who has been duped into The Devil's Circle, but is trying to break away. But Armand, is killed by an assassin before he can tell what he knows about the ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the last of three serials that John Wayne did making his bones in B picture Hollywood, he does what is described as a modern adaption of Alexander Dumas's classic The Three Musketeers. Any resemblance to that novel and this film is completely coincidental.
Wayne is an American pilot who is flying in North Africa and saves Jack Mulhall, Francis X. Bushman, Jr. and Raymond Hatton, Foreign Legionaires, from certain death by machine gunning from the air an attacking Berber tribe. The group of them strike up a great friendship and the three decide to call themselves The Three Musketeers and adopt Wayne as their D'Artagnan.
The Duke with that little action apparently messed up a planned revolution against the colonial occupiers so the would be revolutionaries frame him for gun running and later murder. It takes twelve chapters for Wayne to clear himself and unmask the mysterious masked leader of the Devil's Circle conspiracy, El Shaitan.
In the mess of a film where not one of the white dudes speak with any kind of an accent including the multi-national Foreign Legionaires, you can see elements of The Desert Song, Gunga Din, and Beau Geste. But other than the title not a hint of The Three Musketeers.
Lon Chaney, Jr. and Noah Beery, Jr. both make brief appearances in The Three Musketeers and both get killed early on in the serial. I'm sure neither of them counted this serial as anything they talked up in reminiscing about their careers.
Only confirmed and solid fans of John Wayne should watch this film. I can safely say that Alexander Dumas's spirit becomes most restless when this film is shown.
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