A lad jousting with his tutor is kidnaped and carried to the Bastille where his head is locked in an iron mask. Jump ten years: Musketeers return from war in Morocco to find Paris starving ... See full summary »
The story of Louis XIV of France, and his attempts to keep his identical twin brother Philippe imprisoned away from sight and knowledge of the public, and Philippe's rescue by the aging Musketeers, led by D'Artagnan.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dumas' classic wonderful vivid novel sucks you in with its intrigue at the highest levels, the moral contrasts, the cleverness, the adventure.
I was very surprised at just how fine this was - the cast is of the highest caliber - Ian Holm, Patrick McGoohan, Ralph Richardson, Louis Jourdan - an extraordinary Richard Chamberlin and a very pretty Jenny Agutter (though her character is rather one note).
Note the movie is directed by Mike Newell - who would go on to direct Enchanted April, Four Weddings and a Funeral and many other fine movies.
I was also floored by the producers' settings: four chateaus, the real island referenced in the novel, Fontainebleau - this movie (though made for television) must have cost a fortune to produce!
I think the Frenchman's comment below is a bit sniffy.
First, this was not an American production - but an English one.
Second, this was not a distortion of French history -- Alexandre Dumas pere himself took many (wonderfully imagined) liberties in his novel - does anyone REALLY think Louis XIV was one of identical twins? Come on -this is a novel!
Thus, the complaint that Louis XIV did not after all remain faithful to this mistress (as one would expect from the movie) is an objection to the historical truth of the novel, not its faithful adaptation to the screen. This movie well captures the flavor and spirit of the novel (except, as one reviewer notes, for the character of Philippe, made far more sympathetic here - but then most viewers (myself included) want a sympathetic central character).
I also find the reviewer who says this was poor except for the wonderful acting of all the actors - to be a bit strange. They ARE the movie.
This was very well done, so engrossing and so much fun. Patrick McGoohan is particularly wonderful, as is Chamberlin. Well worth your time - it's efficient, clear, amusing, horrifying, romantic, and gives plenty for those interested in history.
It's also the perfect exciting family movie (well, except having to explain mistresses serving at the royal pleasure - that could be tricky) with something for everyone.
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