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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Musketeers (1948)

This rousing, splashy Technicolor MGM rendition of the Alexandre Dumas novel has enough adventure and tongue in cheek to have served as a template for the 1974 Richard Lester version which pushed its tongue even further into its cheek. Compacting the lengthy novel into one film (Lester split Dumas’ opus into two films) gives short shrift to the second part of the film. As D’Artagnan, Gene Kelly is too mature for the role of the young swashbuckler but he uses his athleticism and dancer’s grace to great advantage in the fighting scenes. Lana Turner makes for a deliciously evil Lady de Winter and Vincent Price is perfect as wicked Richelieu though he’s not a Cardinal in this version in an attempt to placate the Catholic church. Only June Allyson as Constance seems awkward as if she realizes she’s out of place in period films. George Sidney directed. With Van Heflin, Angela Lansbury, Frank Morgan, Gig Young, Robert Coote, Patricia Medina, John Sutton and Marie Windsor.

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