Director Richard Lester strikes the perfect balance between slapstick and swashbuckling swordplay in this whimsical adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's grand adventure. Michael York, all innocence and wide-eyed chivalry as you... more »ng D'Artagnan, makes quite an impression on his first day in Paris: he challenges all three of the legendary Musketeers to a duel, then joins them in arms against the cardinal's soldiers. The worldly rascals, led by Athos (Oliver Reed), who hides his brooding past behind a sarcastic wit, adopt the young hero. Soon D'Artagnan is stealing hearts and stealing food with equal aplomb as he joins their campaign to defend the queen (Geraldine Chaplin) against a plot devised by the scheming cardinal (Charlton Heston) and his cold-hearted accomplice Milady de Winter (Faye Dunaway). Richard Chamberlain's Aramis, the trio's Don Juan and resident man of God, and Frank Finlay's fun-loving hedonist Porthos round out the Musketeers, while Christopher Lee's sneering Rochefort executes the cardinal's wishes as commander of the church's soldiers. Other members of this talented cast include Raquel Welch as the beautiful but disaster-prone seamstress to the queen, Spike Milligan as the beauty's jealous husband, Roy Kinnear as D'Artagnan's bumbling servant, Planchet, and Jean-Pierre Cassel as the clueless king. George MacDonald Fraser's rollicking screenplay combines boisterous adventure and roguish humor with marvelous characters, and Lester's dynamic direction turns it into one of the greatest comic swashbucklers of all time. Followed by The Four Musketeers, which continues the story in a darker vein. --Sean Axmaker« less
Marianne B. from MONROE CITY, MO Reviewed on 4/22/2018...
Love this movie! It's rollicking and full of fun!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Avoid this DVD Version! Get the newer release
Lisa Shea | 03/25/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Filmed in 1973, the one that began it all. The book was actually split into two movies to fit all the plot! This is the first half of the book. An amazing, star-studded cast, great attention to detail and it's funny to boot! Let's see. Oliver Reed as Athos, Richard Chamberlain as Aramis, Frank Finlay as Porthos, Michael York as D'Artagnan. Christopher Lee, Raquel Welch, Geraldine Chaplin, Faye Dunaway. Just about every performance is amazing. This has the REAL plot - not the entirely made-up one Disney foisted on us. D'Artagnan is cheating on his landlord with his landlord's wife. The Queen of France is cheating on her husband, the King, with the Duke of Buckingham. The cardinal is trying to gain power of France. The Musketeers gladly steal food and cheat when necessary. It's a rough world out there! The attention to detail in the film is simply amazing. From the stunning costumes, to the silver-and-white ball at the end, to the interiors of the buildings, to the food they eat, wine they drink, games they play - it's all fully authentic. You could watch this in a history class and learn quite a bit. And the swordfighting!! None of this pretentious sword-waving and back-flipping. These guys were professional soldiers. They fought to win. This involved rough-and-tumble brawl tactics at times. I compare Athos' fighting style to Aragorn's in Lord of the Rings. His aim was to stay alive and to keep his comerades alive, not to look pretty when he fought. Now for the BIG WARNING. I wore out several copies of the video tape before getting this on the first DVD available. Fox Lorber put out the DVD version. I was thrilled to have it on DVD. I was less thrilled when I saw what they did to the movie!! They literally cut off ALL FOUR EDGES of the movie, losing quite a lot of the picture. The special features are completely missing. There is a new DVD version out which is a two-pack of "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers" that has the special features and has the full version of both movies without missing content. AVOID THE FOX LORBER VERSION and get the other one."
Excellent Movie--Disastrous DVD
Lisa Shea | 03/05/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Although several other reviewers have pointed out the aspect ratio problems with the Fox-Lorber version of this DVD, I wanted to add my own comments on the off chance that it will convince others to avoid buying, or even renting, this version.This is one of my favorite movies, and after seeing it hacked to pieces on network TV, I couldn't wait to show my kids a classic treatment of a classic book. Initially we were disappointed in the sparseness of the DVD itself: No subtitles; what seemed to be a monaural soundtrack; and no commentary or additional features such as trailers, promos, or background on the film.But then we started watching and even my kids realized that we were watching a widescreen movie with the left and right portions of the image cut off. This wasn't even pan-and-scan. This was an outrageously lazy transfer from widescreen to standard format showing only the center of the horizontal image. And there are these mysterious black bars above and below, as if someone meant us to think that we were watching the widescreen version. But they merely cut off parts of the image on the top and the bottom of the screen. What were they thinking?The movie is still great. Everyone in the family enjoyed it. But everyone was also very disappointed that a movie studio would do something so inept and insensitive to its customers. I was more than disappointed. I was stunned and angry.For now, buy the VHS version. The DVD is an unmitigated disaster."
Not the definitive version of this title.
Lisa Shea | 01/14/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Collectors have wanted The Three Musketeers (1974) and The Four Musketeers (1975) on disc for years, so it's nice that these titles are finally available, but this Fox-Lorber release is not up to the standards of the best DVDs.This 2-part version of the classic Dumas tale was directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night) and includes a lot of his trademark slapstick, along with elegant production design, lots of action and a truly all-star cast. The Three Musketeers is the breezier of the two films, with an outstanding performance by Raquel Welch as a klutzy heroine.Although this title is priced at $29.95, it is presented in a bare-bones format, without even a listing of the chapter numbers. The video quality is inconsistent, ranging from very good to fair. The image is letterboxed at 1.66:1, but it appears to have been cropped from 1.85:1, causing people to disappear from the edges of the screen. It has not been enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The monaural audio is average. If you like The Three Musketeers, you'll have to decide whether to go with this somewhat inferior version or hope that a better version comes along later."
Why can't Fox-Lorber do it right?
Lisa Shea | 05/27/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers deserved a state of the art transfer, in correct aspect ratio, a director's commentary, and a full range of access features. Fox-Lorber didn't even bother to give us the correct aspect ratio!The film is presented in a 1:66 that lops off information from what may have been a 1:85 image. This is unbelievable! Richard Lester's The Three and Four Musketeers together comprise one of the most memorable films of the 1970's. They are as fresh now as they were in their original theatrical release. They deserved the kind of treatment that The Criterion Collection has given other acknowledged classics. They certainly deserved better than the miserable results that Fox-Lorber has served up.If you are as offended by what Fox-Lorber has done as I am, then let me urge you to write to them and voice your complaints."