The Three Musketeers (1973)

Richard Lester directs Michael York, Raquel Welch and Oliver Reed in this light adventure romp that adapts one portion of Dumas’ swashbuckling classic.

I watched this many times as a child and (until this Sunday) zero times as an adult. There’s a wondrous cast shuffling around about 45 minutes worth of plot with dated slapstick added into every scene to stretch out the first act of a proper film to a rickety feature length. Salkinds movie economics. Never dull, just very corny. The defining feature of 17th century France would appear to be clumsiness. Any moment with Oliver Reed is fantastic, Athos is the role he was born to play. The slumming it A-List leading ladies sport their cleavage and beauty spots gorgeously. The villainy is boo-hiss worthy. York makes for a sweetly wooden lead, he’d be as at home in a Carry On as he is in period intrigue. It could have more duelling, certainly more Musketeering. The filler silliness is overwhelming. And yet my soft spot for it remains.

7

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