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The Return of the Musketeers (1989)

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In France in 1649, the services of the Four Musketeers are needed again, and they run into some old foes from twenty years before.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

George MacDonald Fraser (screenplay) (as George Macdonald Fraser), Alexandre Dumas (book)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael York ... D'Artagnan
Oliver Reed ... Athos
Frank Finlay ... Porthos
C. Thomas Howell ... Raoul
Kim Cattrall ... Justine de Winter
Geraldine Chaplin ... Queen Anne
Roy Kinnear ... Planchet
Christopher Lee ... Rochefort
Philippe Noiret ... Cardinal Mazarin
Richard Chamberlain ... Aramis
Eusebio Lázaro Eusebio Lázaro ... Duke of Beaufort (as Eusebio Lazaro)
Alan Howard ... Oliver Cromwell
David Birkin David Birkin ... Louis XIV
Bill Paterson ... Charles I
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Cyrano de Bergerac (as Jean Pierre Cassel)
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Storyline

It's 1649: Mazarin hires the impoverished D'Artagnan to find the other musketeers: Cromwell has overthrown the English king, so Mazarin fears revolt, particularly from the popular Beaufort. Porthos, bored with riches and wanting a title, signs on, but Aramis, an abbé, and Athos, a brawler raising an intellectual son, assist Beaufort in secret. When they fail to halt Beaufort's escape from prison, the musketeers are expendable, and Mazarin sends them to London to rescue Charles I. They are also pursued by Justine, the avenging daughter of Milady de Winter, their enemy 20 years ago. They must escape England, avoid Justine, serve the Queen, and secure Beauford's political reforms. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Swashbuckling action, comedy capers and rollicking adventures, bigger and better than ever. They're back... all for one and one for all!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Volta dos Mosqueteiros See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston wanted to appear in this movie, but his character of Cardinal Richelieu was deceased in the movie's setting of 1648. Fortunately, Richard Lester had a painting of Richelieu created, with Heston as the model. This painting is seen in the beginning of the movie, and was given to Heston after filming. See more »

Goofs

Whilst ballooning to the finale castle, the fire keeps changing from lit in long shots to unlit in close up. See more »

Quotes

Cardinal Mazarin: The people of England will permit anything - except cruelty to horses and a rise in the price of beer.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The (2009) French DVD edition differs from the earlier UK VHS (and cinema) version. Both Philip Noiret and Jean Pierre Cassel had their voices re-dubbed in the VHS version, but here - on the English language option - their own voices are heard in English. Also several scenes are cut including the scene where D'Artangan gets his assignment from Mazarin to look up his old friends The Three Musketeers and the later scene where King Charles I is playing golf while being arrested by Oliver Cromwell's forces (likewise Michael York's narration of these scenes have been omitted). See more »

Connections

Version of Le masque de fer (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It isn't funny and it isn't clever...
1 February 2005 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

I'm afraid that, given the success of Lester's 'The Three Musketeers' and 'The Four Musketeers' with the same cast, I found this film a sore disappointment; more of a disappointment, perhaps, than if I'd hoped for less. There was only one moment when the film carried any serious depth for me, and that was in the confrontation between Aramis and D'Artagnan; although completely without basis in the book, that was the only episode that carried any hint of the bitterness of genuine feeling between the four reflected in the torn loyalties of the original.

As for the rest, it was played for parody, pure and simple. It might as well have been entitled "Return of the Son of the Bride of the Musketeers from 20,000 Fathoms", given its grievous case of 'sequel-itis'.

Rochefort is gratuitously re-introduced, despite the fact that he performs no plot function at all and trails around like a mangy dog, to be pitied even by Oliver Cromwell. We have the introduction into the story of a Milady Mark II, played as a pantomime Principal Boy in contrast to the all-too-feminine menace of her predecessor, who achieves the surprisi g feat of warding off ungallant attacks of four against one without inadvertently enlisting our sympathies as the underdog. We have overlong, over-slapstick fight scenes, epitomised perhaps by the opening sequence, where even Roy Kinnear's sad death during subsequent filming cannot excuse the tedium of his character's would-be comic antics. We have Oliver Reed miscast as ever as a brawling, bibulous Athos, requiring an unbelievably tasteless rewrite of the famous scene beneath the scaffold for attempted humorous effect(!) We have Athos' wet son Raoul brought in to make up the numbers in a nod at romantic interest -- unfortunately he's such a nonentity it's hard to care.

All the faults of the previous productions have been retained, writ large, while all of their charm has somehow been utterly mislaid. This isn't just an unsuccessful try at a sequel: in a way, I could have forgiven that. At times, alas, the film is little short of a travesty.

If you loved the originals -- this is one of the cases where I'd actively advise against watching the reprise, for the sake of sparing the embarrassment of the actors involved, if for nothing else. Watch the French-made "D'Artagnan's Daughter"(1994) for next-generation comedy; or, if you want to see Michael York play an aging D'Artagnan with genuine boisterous charm, try the harmless bit of fluff that was the 'mini-series' "La Femme Musketeer" of 2004.


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