Grizzled American private detective in England investigates a complicated case of blackmail turned murder involving a rich but honest elderly general, his two loose socialite daughters, a pornographer and a gangster.
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>
Michael York (D'Artagnan) had his leg cut in one duel and almost lost an eye in another. Oliver Reed (Athos) took a sword to the hand. Frank Finlay (Porthos) was struck in the face by a two-by-four, and burned in separate fight scenes. Sir Christopher Lee (Rochefort) fared better than most of the cast, getting off with just a sprained knee and a pulled shoulder muscle. It got so bad, that at one point, York remembers doubling for his injured stunt double. He later resorted to stuffing his script inside his clothes for protection. See more »
When Constance thumps the Queen's writing-table with her hand and knocks over the inkwell, the inkwell actually begins tipping over before she even touches the table. See more »
[He has delivered the Queen's letter to Buckingham; Buckingham has read and hands it back to him. D'Artagnan looks at it helplessly]
I... I'm afraid I can't read.
See more »
I have loved this film (or rather, these films!) since I first saw them as a child in the early eighties. At that point I hadn't read the novels, but, unusually, I think no less of the films now that I have. In their broad, slapstick style of humour, they perhaps reflect the times in which they were made, rather than Dumas, but there is no lack of the original's tragedy in the scenes of Athos' past and D'Artagnan's disillusion. George Macdonald Fraser's script is as fine as you'd expect of the writer of the 'Flashman' novels and the choreography of the fight scenes has been justly praised. The foils were apparently as heavy as their Seventeenth Century counterparts and the actors' agony was increased by filming in the hot Spanish sun....
When I watched these films again a few weeks ago I was also struck by the beautiful cinematography, with the scene in the snow and the climactic fight in the convent particularly well-framed. For me, this is as near-perfect an adaptation of the adventure novel as is possible, combining romance, humour, tragedy and action with wonderful production values and a terrific script. Few other films, and no other version of the 'Musketeers', reaches this standard. Messieurs York, Reed, Finlay, Chamberlain, Heston, Ward, Lee, Milligan and Kinnear, plus Mmes Dunaway, Chaplain and Welch will forever be associated with their characters for me. Brilliant stuff!
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