The Three Musketeers (1974)

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A young peasant eager to join the King’s Musketeers falls foul of the scheming Cardinal Richelieu and his men while attempting to save the Queen from public scandal.

One of the defining adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ classic story, The Three Musketeers is a lighthearted swashbuckler that was the Pirates Of The Caribbean of its day. A fantastic cast and attention to detail make for a highly characterful adventure full of old school charm and humour which was a million miles from the period films of the time which tended to be so po-faced they felt more like animated museum exhibits than entertainment. The Musketeers were not shown as infallible superheroes but clumsy brawlers who were just as apt to fall on their backsides or beat a hasty retreat as a certain pirate we all know and love. Oliver Reed at his most charismatic is the pick of a hugely appealing cast and there are a lot of laughs in the action sequences that are as much about slapstick as swordplay. On the downside, it all seems a little slight by today’s standards as plot and characterisation take a back seat to the gags so there is little in the way of dramatic weight.

But The Three Musketeers has a real old school, infectious charm that will not fail to put a broad smile on your face.

7/10

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