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Paul W.S. Anderson
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A parodic remake of the story of the young Gascon D'Artagnan, who arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, Aramis, and Athos. Together they fight to save France and the honor of a lady from the machinations of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
After viewing this film I wound up scratching my head with so many questions of how this thing ever got made in the first place.
Firstly three years before there was a straight dramatic version of The Three Musketeers that starred Walter Abel as D'Artagnan by RKO. That film was well received although it didn't transform Abel into a leading man. Why Darryl Zanuck made another version so soon is beyond me.
Secondly Rudolph Friml wrote a fine operetta of The Three Musketeers in the 20s. The score here by Walter Bulloch and Samuel Pokrass is singularly unmemorable. Who knows why Friml's music wasn't used, but it should have been.
Zanuck had the ideal D'Artagnan on his lot in Tyrone Power. But since Power didn't sing and Don Ameche always got sloppy seconds in roles at Fox, he got the part. Poor Ameche, he tried his best and he even gets into the comic elements of the film, but it's no good.
At year 2004 very few people know of the Ritz Brothers. They were good burlesque comedians who Zanuck signed up. Their humor was of The Three Stooges variety, but each stooge had an individual personality. You can't tell one Ritz from the other. In the film they take the place of the real Athos, Porthos, and Aramis and they and Ameche bungle their way into one situation after another.
Of the women in the cast I have to say that Binnie Barnes as Milady DeWinter gets into the spirit of the slapstick with the Ritzes.
It's a mess this film, but more so when you think that a straight musical with the Friml score could have been done and now probably never will and a version with Ty Power as D'Artagnan would have been a classic.
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