Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Three Musketeers

I am a big fan of the movies The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974). Nothing can beat the cast of Michael York, Charlton Heston, Raquel Welch, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, and Richard Chamberlain. Both films are great fun and I just recently watched them both again.

Last year a new version was filmed starring a bunch of actors I had not heard of.  I do know Matthew Macfadyen, also known as Tom from MI-5, who played Athos, and Orlando Bloom, who starred in a movie filmed in my home town, who played Duke of Buckingham. The others I had not seen and don't really think they compare with the cast of the other films. D'Artagnan and Constance looked to be about 13 years old. Of course this latest version was quite spectacular featuring Da Vinci's flying war machines and lots of tricks.

Wikipedia lists 25 film versions of the swashbuckling tale beginning with a 1903 French production that includes the description "about which virtually nothing is known." There are comedies, French versions, silent versions, a Soviet musical, and a Mexican version.  There are six animated versions including Barbie and the Three Musketeers (2009) in which the Musketeers are female.

There are seven sequels including this one that I must see: La Femme Musketeer (2004), a made-for-TV production starring Susie Amy as d'Artagnan's daughter "Valentine", with Michael York, Gérard Depardieu, Christopher Cazenove, John Rhys-Davies, and Nastassja Kinski.

Really. Who knew?

All this leads me to tell you that I have never read Les Trois Mousquetaires (1844) by Alexandre Dumas. Francophile that I am, I find that to be shameful. So to remedy that, I have downloaded the e-book onto my Nook.  And now that I am almost through with the Frances Mayes's books about Tuscany, I think a trip to 17th century France is next up.

"All for one, and one for all."

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