HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  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 3483 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: