Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Three Musketeers (1948)


*** Warning: This review constains spoilers! ***

I love this movie!

Great costumes, great casting - it's a beauty to watch. Especially the swashbuckling! Even the scenes of galloping horses were exciting. I also saw, for the first time, a beautiful young Angela Lansbury. Really, just an all-around very entertaining movie!

This screen adaptation is, for the most part, delightfully true to the book. Buttercup, the Count de Warde, and Kitty are included, and we see that all four lackeys exist, though Planchet is the only one with a major role, and Grimaud is the only other one mentioned by name.

My prudish sensibilities actually appreciated some of the efforts to "purify" the story. Madame Bonacieux in the book is Mademoiselle Bonacieux in the movie, and she is d'Artagnan's landlord's niece rather than his wife. Instead of talking about "rich mistresses", the movie has "rich widows".

As the story progresses, it gradually starts to deviate from the book, mostly to simplify and condense the story. It is, after all, only a 2 hour movie. There is no siege of La Rochelle, and Lord de Winter and John Felton are omitted. In a nice twist, Constance is sent by the Queen to the Duke of Buckingham in England for her safety (rather than to a French convent), and she ends up being Milady's jailer. There is no "Hollywood ending" for Constance or Milady - there the movie is completely faithful to the book.

I liked this movie so much that I watched it again the very next day, and enjoyed just as much the second time!

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