It's 1649: Mazarin hires the impoverished D'Artagnan to find the other musketeers: Cromwell has overthrown the English king, so Mazarin fears revolt, particularly from the popular Beaufort.... See full summary »
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A prisoner of war working at a zoo gets the chance to escape from the Germans, so he does and he takes with him the elephant that he's been caring for. Together they head for the Swiss border and freedom.
Michael J. Pollard
The young D'Artagnan arrives in Paris with dreams of becoming a king's musketeer. He meets and quarrels with three men, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, each of whom challenges him to a duel. D'Artagnan finds out they are musketeers and is invited to join them in their efforts to oppose Cardinal Richelieu, who wishes to increase his already considerable power over the king. D'Artagnan must also juggle affairs with the charming Constance Bonancieux and the passionate Lady De Winter, a secret agent for the cardinal. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
Richard Lester has to be one of the greatest directors of comedy there ever was. There are dozens of slapstick gags and situations in this movie and almost 100% of them work. And what an opulent setting they are placed in! Lester and his cohorts have created a film in which almost every frame resembles a museum painting come to life (and gone berserk.)
Lester is better with style than relating a narrative. I found it impossible to completely comprehend the story line here, and I think if you asked most people what the movie was about, they'd tell you there was a lot of swashbuckling and general mayhem and lunacy, but I doubt they'd give you much of Dumas' story. When the style is this good, however, a little fuzziness on the substance is not a fatal flaw. Still, it might keep this picture from being an all-time classic rather than "just" a most enjoyable film.
Lester is such an auteur that his direction is the main focus of this film even with such an all-star cast. It was a wise decision (actually it seems like a no-brainer) to divide what was originally shot at one time into two films, this one and 'The Four Musketeers.' There really can be too much of a good thing, and even at under two hours, 'The Three Musketeers' threatens to be overwhelming. But on balance this film is great entertainment.
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