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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Four Musketeers (1974)
(2023 4K Restoration)


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

Certificate: 12
Release Date: 08 May 2023

With D’Artagnan (Michael York) now officially enrolled in the King’s service, his army besieges the rebels at La Rochelle and Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston) is determined to prevent any meddling by the English before the city falls. He dispatches Milady de Winter (Faye Dunaway) to London with orders to assassinate Buckingham (Simon Ward) If necessary. But she has a price - carte blanche to dispose of D’Artagnan and Bonacieux as she sees fit. Our heroes, in between dodging musket balls at La Rochelle, must once again outwit the Cardinal’s henchmen to save the day. But this time the stakes are higher... And tragedy is in the offing. The film was received as enthusiastically as its predecessor and garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design - marking the first time that a sequel received a nomination when its predecessor was overlooked...

The Four Musketeers follows on from The Three Musketeers (1973). All of the main and supporting actors return to reprise their roles... but then both movies were actually shot at the same time. It was originally planned that both films would actually be one film with an intermission in the cinema, but somewhere during production it was decided to release them as separate movies - something which is looked at in more detail in Neil Sinyard's interview on the extras.

When compared to the first movie, this one is a total shift in style and tone. The first movie was more a family film that everyone could enjoy, whilst this sequel is a little darker. It's still an enjoyable romp, but I personally prefer the first film.

It's interesting how times change. I found the pacing rather slow and lumbering, and at times I was wishing that the story would move on a little quicker.

Extras include Interview with Neil Sinyard (23 min, 10 sec. The author discusses the behind the scenes goings on of the movie. It was interesting to hear that this was originally designed as the second half of one movie - with The Three Musketeers being the first part. A lot of the cast and crew were not happy when the movie was released as they were only paid for one movie and so lawsuits ensued. This film is darker in tone to the first movie and in this outing characters get killed; The Saga of the Musketeers Part 2 (24 min, 52 sec interview with cast and crew in 2002 on behind the scenes information. It was great to see Christopher Lee discussing the sword fighting scenes and a little disturbing (if true) to learn that the swords were real and not props); and Original Trailer (2 min, 50 sec).

While an entertaining enough romp, it's not a movie I'd be in a rush to rewatch anytime soon.


Nick Smithson

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