The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.
Paul W.S. Anderson
The young D'Artagnan (Michael York) arrives in Paris with dreams of becoming a King's Musketeer. He meets and quarrels with three men, Athos (Oliver Reed), Porthos (Frank Finlay), and Aramis (Richard Chamberlain), 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 (Charlton Heston), who wishes to increase his already considerable power over King Louis XIII (Jean-Pierre Cassel). D'Artagnan must also juggle affairs with the charming Constance Bonancieux (Raquel Welch) and the passionate Lady De Winter (Faye Dunaway), a secret agent for the Cardinal.Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
The spring and summer weather in Spain was gruelling because of the heat. On one day of shooting at Arnjuez (the scene where D'Artagnan is inducted into the Musketeers), the temperature reached one hundred twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit (fifty degrees Celsius). A reported seven thousand bottles of water were said to be consumed by the large cast and crew necessary for the elaborate scene. See more »
When the ship carrying D'Artagnan and his manservant is seen 'sailing' into Dover it is clearly being towed and not under its own sail, as a taut rope is pulling the front of the ship towards the camera. See more »
[commenting on D'Artagnan's horse]
Decidedly it is someone riding a buttercup. Unless it is a cheese with legs.
See more »
This film, and its sequel (filmed concurrently) is by far the best movie version of the Dumas novel ever produced. The cast is excellent. The sets and costumes are marvelous. The swordplay (and there is much) is possible some of the most realistic ever filmed. And it's the only Musketeer movie I am aware of in which the Musketeers actually use muskets. Authenticity seems to have been very important to the producers, as well as staying true to the novel.
Sadly a film like this wouldn't be made these days. First off the fighting would be "punched-up" with a lot of wire work. And of course Hollywood would change the story to eliminate much of the "sleeping around" characters do (today's movie heroes in this type of movie aren't usually sexually active). They would also provide some creative story editing so that a certain character who dies in the novel would survive so as to supply the requisite happy ending. Fortunately for us this version does not suffer that kind of revisionism.
If you're a fan of Dumas or just looking for a fun film with lots of realistic sword fighting then you won't want to miss this.
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