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>
A central theme is the illicit love affair between Buckingham and Anne of Austria. In real life, the Duke of Buckingham (George Villiers) was bisexual and referred to in at least one love letter from King James I as being his wife. See more »
During the fight in the laundry, one of the Swiss Guard threatens Athos with a pole. The Guardsman is bare-headed but a moment later, when he attacks, he is wearing his hat. See more »
[d'Artagnan has tried to pull a large carpet from under a group of guards]
He's torn our carpet!
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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