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 Post subject: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:50 am 
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Prince Judah
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Directed by Richard Lester
Production Year: 1974
stars Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Michael York as D'Artagnan, Richard Chamberlain,
Frank Finlay, Christopher Lee, Faye Dunaway as Milady, with Charlton Heston as Richelieu
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Continuing from The Three Musketeers (1973), which was filmed at the same time, this sequel is simply the 2nd part of the famous Dumas novel, but the film has less cheer and a more somber tone in places, most evident in the scenes of several key characters meeting their ends. The role of Milady (Dunaway) takes center stage in her efforts to further the goals of Cardinal Richelieu (Heston), but she proves to be almost evil incarnate, going beyond political plans into personal revenge against D'Artagnan (York) and his lady Constance (Welch).
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Musket Trivia: many years later, there was yet another sequel, a 3rd film, Return of the Musketeers (1989). Most of the actors returned - but Heston only showed up as a painting of Richelieu (from what I remember), since Richelieu was long dead (this also followed the Dumas sequel novel). Christopher Lee did return as Rochefort, even though he was supposedly killed in the 2nd film. Lee later related in the magazine CINEMA RETRO that the other actors were now as old in Return of the Musketeers as he had been in The Four Musketeers and now felt all the aches and pains that he did (Lee was older than the Musketeers actors).


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:06 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here is the TV spot for this film when it first aired on TV in 1977. I'm pretty sure this is how I first watched this film - on TV - since I wasn't able to get to the theater for it:
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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:18 am 
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Prince Judah
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I mentioned elsewhere how the 2nd film was more somber than The Three Musketeers and it was also much more poignant in places. Nowhere is this better represented than by the theme music for Athos (played by Oliver Reed)... do they create music like this for films anymore? I think not:

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It's in The Four Musketeers that the backstory for Athos is unveiled. I also mentioned elsewhere that Oliver Reed was at his peak in The Three Musketeers, but he really comes into his own here, in this 2nd film, where-in comical buffoonery gives way to dramatic, sad and even tragic overlays.


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:06 am 
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I have not seen this movie, but it seems pretty disturbing--- they recreated Richelieu's character when he was supposed to be dead. Interesting. I must watch it first and then post my comments.

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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:01 am 
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Prince Judah
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I'm not sure I understand you, Tizzy, and I think you may have misread one of my earlier posts. Richelieu (Heston) :richelieu: was alive and well at the end of The Three Musketeers and in The Four Musketeers - he was not recreated; the character died several years later (as did the real Richelieu on whom it was based). In the 3rd film, Return of the Musketeers, Richelieu had been dead for years. But, there is a painting of him, hanging on the wall, from what I recall. He remained dead.

However...
Spoiler:
Rochefort, played by Christopher Lee, was killed by a sword near the end of The Four Musketeers; at least, it seemed that he was killed. Since he returned in Return of the Musketeers, the audience has to make allowances and deduce that he was just seriously injured at the end of The Four Musketeers. It weakens the ending of The Four Musketeers and doesn't really make sense, but is slightly plausible.


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:03 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here, after all this time, is the shot of the painting of Heston as Richelieu in Return of the Musketeers (1989), when the character of D'Artagnan (Michael York) walks past it early in the film:
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This, more than any other film, may qualify as an "unofficial" Heston film (a term that James Byrne used recently here in relation to a TV Movie, The Jayne Mansfield Story, which had footage of Heston arriving at a movie premiere. Heston doesn't appear in Return of the Musketeers, just this painting of him... so maybe it's not even an unofficial film; but, then, what is it..? :?: :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:01 pm 
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El Cid
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I would love to add THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS to my now complete Heston dvd collection. Even though he isn't in the cast, that giant portrait of Chuck as Richelieu casts his presence over the proceedings in some scenes. TROTM is exceptionally difficult to get hold of - it has been deleted for years. Heston was allowed to keep that giant portrait, after giving his permission to Lester for using it in the film.

THE KING OF COMEDY is sometimes cited as one of Liza Minnelli's movies, even though there is only a cardboard cutout of her on show in the movie!


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:59 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Well, this is the height of iconography! You remember, Chrysagon, that in one of my earlier posts I commented on the film-theory of 'gaze' by which Richelieu, though not talking much or shouting, can impose his authority over other characters? Here the painting serves the same function, and this time it is iconised. Whatever D'artagnan or others are thinking or saying, the silent presence of Richelieu's portrait, with that penetrating and cynical gaze, holds it power even when he is physically absent from the scene.

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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:19 pm 
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El Cid
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I wonder why THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS isn't included in THE MUSKETEERS boxset?


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 Post subject: Re: The Four Musketeers (1974)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:27 am 
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Prince Judah
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James Byrne wrote:
I wonder why THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS isn't included in THE MUSKETEERS boxset?

According to some sources, such as a thread on IMDb, one possibility is a 'rights' issue of two different studios:
the first two films came out on DVD from Fox, while the third one was from Universal; does that stand in the way of a box set? - maybe. But, on the same thread, there's talk of a French DVD set - http://www.amazon.fr/Trois-mousquetaire ... B00019IC46 Image
This has all three films on it - Les Trois mousquetaires : L'Intégrale (1973 / 1974 / 1989) - Coffret 3 DVD


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