HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Death Valley
Junior
Menace II Society
Azor
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Four Musketeers, The Fill Thy Hands With Steel!
Year: 1974
Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Frank Finlay, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin, Faye Dunaway, Roy Kinnear, Michael Gothard, Nicole Calfan, Ángel del Pozo, Simon Ward, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Charlton Heston, Sybil Danning
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Now the Three Musketeers were four with D'Artagnan (Michael York) joining them since he had saved the reputation of the Queen of France (Geradline Chaplin), but he now had to face the wrath of of the wicked Milady de Winter (Faye Dunaway). Before that, though, a seige had developed between the King's forces and a group of religious rebels, and the Musketeers had been sent to the site to do what they could. This worked out to be saving Rochefort (Christopher Lee) who had acted as a spy within the city walls but had been found out and sentenced to death by firing squad. Under orders, the Musketeers leapt into action...

You may well know by now that this version of The Three Musketeers had originally been intended as one epic movie, complete with interval, but the Salkinds, those three generations of producers, opted for an alternative solution: split the whole thing into two, then, according to them, they wouldn't have to cut any of the wonderful footage that director Richard Lester had shot. The cast and crew were somewhat taken aback by this development as not only had they not been consulted, they had only been paid for one movie and it took some legal wrangling to secure further pay, although it still wasn't as much as they would have earned if they had been hired for two separate movies.

But the project was perhaps better as a pair, because there was a noticeable change in tone between the first half and the second. The Three Musketeers had been light and fun, but for the sequel George MacDonald Fraser's script, following the Alexandre Dumas novel, had to take a darker turn, not least because of the unavoidable fact that one of the most sympathetic characters died at the hands of one of the villains. There were still chuckles, but there was less to laugh at this time around. However, on the plus side the Musketeers had more to do than play back up to D'Artagnan, with Oliver Reed's Athos in particular standing out, even winning a flashback that told of his involvement with Milady - although this told you more about him than it did about her, as with Dunaway's glacial performance she was as hard to read as ever.

Really, this was more the bad guys' movie, with Milady and Rochefort committing the dark deeds and Charlton Heston's Cardinal Richelieu manipulating things in the background. Lester still had time for a lyrical shot and the design was as impressive as before, but for some reason it felt more muted, with less of the outright extravagance of the initial instalment. Milady seduces her jailer (Michael Gothard) and persuades him to assassinate Buckingham (Simon Ward), and worse than that in our eyes she sets her sights on avenging herself against D'Artagnan by striking at those close to him. The cast handled this shift in tone expertly, and there was rarely a moment where you didn't worry for the fate of the good guys, but it was somehow less of a breeze this time. To compensate, the finale which saw D'Artagnan in a deadly swordfight with Rochefort was nothing short of superb, one of the most exhausting to watch duels in cinema history, though even this couldn't take away the note of regret that the film drew towards. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4228 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Lester  (1932 - )

American director, from television, in Britain whose initially zany style could give way to genuine suspense and emotion. After making his film debut with short The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film, which featured Goons Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, he went on to throwaway projects like It's Trad, Dad and Mouse on the Moon. His next, however, was a smash hit all over the world: A Hard Day's Night, not least because it had The Beatles as stars.

Lester was at his most successful in the sixties and early seventies, with notable movies like The Knack, Beatles follow up Help!, stage adaptation A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, satire How I Won the War, romance Petulia, weird comedy The Bed Sitting Room, The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers and very British disaster movie Juggernaut.

Efforts like Royal Flash, Robin and Marian, gay bathhouse comedy The Ritz and Cuba made less impact, but in the eighties Lester was called in to salvage the Superman series after Richard Donner walked off Superman II; Lester also directed Superman III. Finders Keepers was a flop comedy, and Return of the Musketeers had a tragic development when one of his regular cast, Roy Kinnear, died while filming. Lester then decided to give up directing, with Paul McCartney concert Get Back his last film.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: