Musical comedy fairly faithful version that only covers half the novel!
This version will be liked by anyone who appreciates Musketeer comedy musicals or both. The story is generally faithful to the first half of the novel. Gino Cervi wonderful actor but miscast in the part of Cardinal Richelieu even though he did make a great Porthos in a serious French version of Three Musketeers and a great Jean Valjean in an Italian version of Les Miserables.Several characters were miscast in this TV version but who really cares because it is a musical comedy. Story starts out as most D'Artagnan leaves Gascony has a confrontation with Rochefort who is at a tavern with Milady de Winter (original novel Rochefort is outside the tavern and Milady pulls up in her carriage).Then proceeds to Paris where he ruffles the feathers of Athos,Porthos and Aramis and they all become best friends after defeating Jussac and the Cardinals Guards. Constance,the Queen's servant enlists D'Artagnan and the Musketeers to retrieve the Queen's diamond necklace that she gave to her English lover the Duke of Buckingham. The Queen meets with the 4 Musketeers and sends them to England. The Three Musketeers meet Milady de Winter who has one broken carriage wheel and try to help her. A departure from the novel Athos doesn't know Milady who in the novel is his evil opportunistic beautiful ex-wife. Milady has them ambushed by the Cardinal's Guards. D'Artagnan in the meantime goes to look for his companions and finds Milady's friend Kitty (In the novel Kitty is her maid who is seduced by D'Artagnan.)who at Milady's orders tries to seduce D'Artagnan it doesn't work. The Musketeers and D'Artagnan reach Buckingham and get the jewels. The Musketeers and D'Artagnan knock out some priests on the way back to France and take their frocks and board safely to France and return the jewels to the Queen upsetting the plans of Cardinal Richelieu,Milady de Winter,Count de Rochefort and Jussac. The Jussac character plays a larger part in this adaptation his character was combined with the Dumas character of Bernajoux. This was a definite spoof of earlier Musketeer films like scene of the Cardinal's love of cats (reference 1948 MGM film with Vincent Price).This version also used as background instrumental music the song the Saints go marching in plus instrumental background music from Oklahoma,West Side Story,Damn Yankees and 19th century waltzes that were popular 250 years later. Other positives for a 1964 Italian TV adaptation this production had good sets and authentic 17th century type costumes for both citizens of France and England. This by the way is not available or dubbed in English If you know a smattering of Italian or any romance language you might have some luck translating. This version I think is a keeper for any Musketeer fan especially a fan who likes musical or comical adaptations of the novel (examples:1939 Don Ameche musical comedy with the Ritz Brothers,1943 Cantiflas comedy Los Tres Mosqueteros and Tin Tan's 1957 Mexican comedy Three and a half Musketeers).
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