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Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Four Musketeers (1974)

When Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston) orders the kidnapping of the mistress (Raquel Welch) of the musketeer D'Artagnan (Michael York), it sets forth a chain of events that will result in revenge, political assassination, murder and execution. It would be incorrect to refer to THE FOUR MUSKETEERS as a sequel to the previous year's smash hit THE THREE MUSKETEERS since it originally was intended to be one film but when it became clear that the film would be four hours long, it was divided into two separate films. FOUR is merely the second half of the Dumas novel. The energy and wit of the first part is still very much in evidence and Faye Dunaway as the wicked Milady, who had minimal screen time in the first part, gets a chance to shine here. The scene between her and Heston as they discuss the killing of D'Artagnan and his mistress shows two actors playing off each other at the top of their game. If I had to nitpick, it's that Lalo Schifrin's score is very inferior to Michel Legrand's splendid work in the first film. Superbly directed by Richard Lester. With Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Richard Chamberlain, Christopher Lee, Frank Finlay, Simon Ward, Roy Kinnear and Jean Pierre Cassel.

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