29 January 2016

Hard To Top

As campy as the two films are...

The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers are still well worth your time.

If for no other reason Christopher Lee as Rochefort and Oliver Reed as Athos.

He's two lines at the end of The Four Musketeers that he sells:

"Make one move to save her, D'Artagnan and we will cross swords; and this time, I swear I will kill you."

and

"No, for the Comte de la Fère it is too little; for Athos, too much."

Actually, I think I prefer the second film over the first.

5 comments:

  1. I agree with the second film being more dramatic than the first, and more filled with pathos (not a musketeer name). Another fine scene is when Athos threatens to shoot Milady, his very deliberate preparation of his wheel-lock pistol is chilling. Faye Dunaway's performance as Milady fooled me into taking her seriously as an actress for many years; I finally realized that I was as fascinated and seduced by her heaving bosom as the hapless John Felton. Reed came away from these films apparently absorbing the tragic Athos into his very being, as he channelled the character into other roles he played, such as Billy Bones in the Charlton Heston version of Treasure Island, or Proximo in Gladiator.

    Lester made a third movie with the same cast in 1989, the poorly received The Return of the Musketeers. Based loosely on Dumas's sequel Ten Years After, it follows the later adventures of the Musketeers as they attempt to counter the machinations of Milady's daughter (a son, in Dumas's book), played by Kim Cattrall, who later went on to fame channelling her inner slut in Sex and the City. Here she actually is able to duel against all four musketeers as an equal - - just one example of Richard Lester's usual sure hand at satire turning into farce.

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    1. That's my favorite version of Treasure Island too!

      I'll look up Return, I don't recall having seen it before.

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  2. Christopher Lee? Surely you jest! It was none other than Charlton Heston in an amazing bit of casting. If you watch the movies with an eye to the fencing, you'll see that the Musketeers each have their own style as an extension of their character. Aramis outright kills the most men. Damn fine films.

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    Replies
    1. Mr Heston played Cardinal Richelieu.

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  3. George Macdonald Fraser (of Flashman fame/infamy) wrote the scripts for both of those movies, and had quite a few interesting things to say about making them in his memoir The Light's On at Signpost.

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