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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This only played on Canadian TV once to my knowledge. U.S citizens near Canadian borders were able to view the film via antenna during the age of non-cable non-satellite television. This version followed very closely the book! As far as accuracy to the novel. This telefilm was right on. It is shame this had never been released on VHS or DVD. The film begins just like the book and ends just like the book. For fans of accuracy to the novel this sure beats the 1970's Richard Lester films and MGM's 1948 films which were pretty close to the novel. This also is more accurate than the 1999 direct to videc stageplay in fact this is superior and Bernard Borderie's 1961 two part French production and the Russian 1978 film. This compares favorably with the BBC 1966 Production and the French 1959 Les Trois Mousquetaires and 1969 French remake titled D'Artagnan ,1971 Spanish Los Tres Mosqueteros plus the 1921 French silent and 1933 French remake. Now about the film excellent sets,music and costumes. Leo Ciceri and Martha Henry excellent as Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter.Martha Henry's Milady's performance was excellent.If you enjoyed the performances of Faye Dunaway and Mary Peach in the part then you would really enjoy Martha's. The Three Musketeers were wonderfully played especially Colin Fox as Aramis. Christopher Walken was perfect as John Felton the fanatical murderer of the Duke of Buckingham. The Duke of Buckingham was so-so but I've seen whole lot worse characterizations.Kenneth Welsh as D'Artagnan did a good job about as good as Jeremy Brett in the BBC production. Kenneth Welsh physically speaking didn't fit the part but his acting ability made up for that. Some of the actors in this production also were in a stage production a year earlier which this production was based on.This is classic Dumas not part Dumas like the 1921,1935,1939 U.S 1942,1945&1957 Spanish versions,1962,1964,1971,1991 Italian versions,1953,1974,1981 French and 1983 Mexican. This is also not like(and Thank God!) the most recent bastardizations of the novel 1993 Disney version (the villains were way better cast than the heroes),2001 The Musketeer (no Milady de Winter character and most of the cast members were in their forties,fifties and sixties only Justin Chambers(should never have bothered to accept the part)and Mena Suvari (big mistake right up there with June Allyson and Gabriella Wilde as one of the worst Constance's)were in the right age group and Tim Roth they should have not misused him and Catherine Deneuve would have been perfect as the Queen or Milady if they had a different screen writer and filmed this back in 1971!!!)2003 Dutch (a great musical but that was about it)and 2005 French miniseries D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers (released as 4 Musketeers,poor Emmanuelle Beart wonderfully cast though a little old for Milady de Winter and they turned her into a Satanist child sacrificing weirdo and Vincent Elbaz one of the worst D'Artagnan's these idiots left out Chevalier/Count de Rochefort but then the 2004 miniseries Milady kept the Rochefort character but changed his name)and we can't forget the 2011 The Three Musketeers in 3D! Someday I hope all will be able to view this treasure along with a very good Canadian fairly faithful version of Dracula that came out four years later.Well new versions of Snow White and a Dracula 3D are coming out and I just can't wait to see how screwed up they are from the original stories.
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