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The Three Musketeers 1973

The Three Musketeers (1973) starring Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York

Synopsis of The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers (1973 version) is a mixture of comedy and adventure. It’s based on the Alexander Dumas classic novel of three musketeers who are “all for one and one for all!”  With, very literally, an all-star cast.

Review

First of all, The Three Musketeers (1973) is a fun, fast-paced, enjoyable film. It’s faithful to the original novel …. Which is quite surprising for Hollywood. It also injects a fair amount of comedy, without detracting from the tension or the overall story.

The acting is first rate. Everyone does an exceptional job. With the possible exception of Raquel Welch. Her job is to look pretty, which she does. She doesn’t have much opportunity to displays her acting ability. The only thing she displays is her figure.

Cast of characters

Michael York in a sword fight – a publicity photo from The Three Musketeers

Musketeers

  • Michael York (Logan’s Run, Island of Dr. Moreau) – d’Artagnan. The central figure. He’s the “country bumpkin” who’s often underestimated. Which his opponents come to regret. He schedules duels with each of the Three Musketeers, one after the other. Which leads them to respect his optimism! He becomes the love interest for the (married) Constance.
  • Oliver Reed (Oliver!, Curse of the Werewolf) – Athos. The older, wiser, despondent, alcoholic leader of the Musketeers. He’s been driven to self-medicating his pain … Due to Milady de Winter.
  • Frank Finlay – Porthos / O’Reilly
  • Richard Chamberlain – Aramis
Oliver Reed as Athos

Everyone else

  • Jean-Pierre Cassel – King Louis XIII of France. A nice enough fellow, sitting on the throne. Cardinal Richelieu subtly influences/controls him. And he’s unaware, initially, of his wife’s infidelity.
  • Geraldine Chaplin – Anne of Austria. The king’s unfaithful wife. She needs the Musketeers’ help to cover her adultery. Since it could lead to a needless war with England. And the deaths of thousands.
  • Charlton Heston (The Greatest Show on Earth) – Cardinal Richelieu. The power behind the throne. A deceptive, scheming chess master. He uses human beings as living pawns. Beautifully acted by Charlton Heston.
  • Faye Dunaway – Milady de Winter. The cold, merciless agent of Richelieu. Beautiful, deadly, vain, and unforgiving. She shares a secret with Athos. And wants to destroy him because of it. An excellent performance.
  • Christopher Lee (Horror of Dracula) – Count De Rochefort. Richelieu’s right-hand man. A talented fighter … But not talented enough. Richelieu clearly disrespects him. Another excellent performance.
  • Simon Ward – the Duke of Buckingham. The Queen’s secret lover. He actually does love her. He’s willing to go to war with France to “rescue” her from her husband. But he’s willing to be seduced by Milady anyway … Which leads to the theft of incriminating jewelry.
  • Raquel Welch (Fathom) – Constance. Married, but she becomes d’Artagnan’s lover/mistress anyway. She’s also the Queen’s dressmaker. So, she becomes the liaison between the Queen & the Musketeers.
Geraldine Chaplin as Queen Anne

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