The Duke in Cliffhanger Action!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 05/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although this particular serial, one of only three the Duke starred
in, is not up to Republic standards, it is a real actionfest
nevertheless. And the cliffhangers are pretty exciting, too!Roan's
restoration is as good as any version you'll find, and probably better
considering this is a 1933 effort.Shot in only 21 days, the serial
boasts not only John Wayne (as hero Tom Wayne), but Francis X. Bushman
Jr., Noah Beery Jr., a brief appearance by Lon Chaney Jr., (billed as
Creighton Chaney), and stunt work by Duke regular Yakima Canutt (who
also plays the villian El Shaitan when masked).The story is billed
as "a modern retelling" of the classic Dumas story, with
Wayne as D'Artagnan. However, the only thing that remains from the
novel is the three comrades plus one, and the title.Duke is en
route to visit his sweetheart Elaine in the Sahara (why she's living
there is anyone's guess). On the way, he rescues some French Foreign
Legionnaires from being wiped out by hostile Arabs. From then on, the
three are Tom's pals, and call themselves the Three Musketeers since
they are the only survivors of their outfit left. El Shaitan is the
leader of a mysterious Arab cult called The Devil's Circle, who are
trying to accquire and take up arms against the Legion (again, no real
reasoning why, other then they are there).Elaine's brother (Lon
Chaney), is murdered by El Shaitan, and Wayne is incriminated. From
there, Wayne becomes a fugitive from justice as he attempts to track
down and unmask the mysterious El Shaitan.Ruth Hall, who plays
Tom's sweetheart Elaine Corday is great, although her career amounted
to mostly uncredited bit parts. She appeared in such famous films as
"Easter Parade", "How to Marry a Millionaire", and
"The Farmer Takes a Wife".Like most thirties action films
and serials, this one features the still-new and ever fascinating
invention of the day, the airplane. Here, Tom is a pilot, as is Elaine
and the evil El Shaitan.Always interesting to see the young Duke in
action, and this is no dried out piece of toast like some of the
bland, nondescript westerns he was trapped in between "The Big
Trail" (1930)and "Stagecoach" (1939).
The first serial on DVD is Great!
retroreelsdotcom | Saint Clair, PA United States | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This probably is not the serial I would have picked to be the first on DVD (Captain Marvel would be an obvious choice) but it is a good one either way. Roan's restoration is excellent as always. John Wayne makes one of his last attempts to act before making it big and just playing "John Wayne" all the time, and pulls it off in this one, though not nearly as well as in Hurricane Express. Serial veteran Jack Mulhall is a joy to watch, as is Raymond Hatton in this great updating of the Dumas' classic (though it really only takes the name of that fine literary work). Lots of digitally preserved action and cliffhangers make this one a keeper!"
John Wayne and the Forign Legion best the Tauregs.
Carl Evans | Texas, USA. | 03/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Three Musketeers is a multi chapter SERIAL, of chapters that are about 15 minutes in length. If you are a SERIAL collector as I am, you will like to see this one. John Wayne is a Legion pilot, and he has three buddies also in the legion including: Ray "Crash" Corrigan as one of the legionnaires! Together they go through and happen upon a group of thieves and murderers. Time and time again, Wayne and his pals get in and out of trouble, in the end, they get their bad guys. This Serial is a must, if you are a fan of serials. Also if you are a fan of very early John Wayne pictures, you will get a kick out of him in a serial."
Keith M. Garnier | Ontario CA USA | 01/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The movie was good, like watching an old movie. But it just ended in the middle of a scene, went to some sort of a commerical and that was it. I looked at the menu scenes and it only had 4 chapters. The dvd just left you hanging until you can get the rest of that movie. Very disappointed!"