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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Three Musketeers (1973)
(2023 4K Restoration)


Starring: Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Frank Finlay, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin, Simon Ward, Faye Dunaway and Charlton Heston
Distributor: StudioCanal

Certificate: 12
Release Date: 08 May 2023

In 17th Century Paris, young, naïve and energetic D’Artagnan (Michael York) leaves home to seek his fortune as a swordsman. Making friends with the three musketeers: world-weary Athos (Oliver Reed), comically arrogant Porthos (Frank Finlay) and chivalric Aramis (Richard Chamberlain), he is invited to join them in their efforts to thwart the aristocratic schemer Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston), who plots to prove the infidelity of the Queen (Geraldine Chaplin) to King Louis XIII (Jean-Pierre Cassel) in order to increase his own power. Whilst attempting to foil the Cardinal’s plans, D'Artagnan finds himself also juggling affairs with both the charming Constance Bonancieux (Raquel Welch) as well as the passionate Milady De Winter (Faye Dunaway), a secret agent for the Cardinal...

This 1973 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's 1844 novel The Three Musketeers was originally conceived as a vehicle for The Beatles, but it was decided that the Fab Four‘s personalities risked overshadowing the characters and the idea was ditched. At the time of this production there were four other film adaptations in production and throughout, director Richard Lester insisted on secrecy from cast and crew for fear that his ideas may be stolen by the other studios. The film was both a critical and commercial hit on release and garnered Raquel Welch a Best Actress Golden Globe. It stars a Whose Who of actors of the time, many of whom are no longer with us.

Extras include: Interview with Neil Sinyard (31 min, 20 sec - chat with the author of Richard Lester (British Film Makers), which looks at Lester's career and background info on the movie); The Saga of The Musketeers: Part 1 (23 min, 03 sec which sees cast and crew looking back at the history of the project; The Making of the Musketeers Vintage EPK (6 min, 47 sec); Original US Trailer (3 min, 02 sec); and Original UK Trailer (2 min, 36 sec).

While it's an enjoyable enough movie it has dated a little. For those who remember it from its original release (I was too young, but remember seeing it in the '80s) this will bring back waves of nostalgia. For a more modern audience, this will probably be a little too slow and cumbersome.


Nick Smithson

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