Great Movies III

film 5 of 8

The Three Musketeers (1973)

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 2, 2015

More painterly than Renoir, and just as farcical and humane. More multi-planed and modernist than Altman, and so much more accessible. Very bawdy, not remotely vulgar. Full of comic virtuosity—not only compound gags, but compound gags compounded through the frame and across the cuts—but in the end its decency registers most. (Cf. the last exchange between D’Artagnan and Buckingham). Decency is further evidenced by the scrupulous period recreations, meaning not only the usual appointments of costume and décor, but also the completely unnecessary elaboration of domestic, courtly and labour processes. (The washhouse/dyeing works!) Going the second mile: they cared enough to make it right, for the sake of the source, its period, the audience, their craft. It’s moving, actually.