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The Three Musketeers [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Adolphe Menjou, Mary MacLaren, Nigel De Brulier, Thomas Holding, Marguerite De La Motte
  • Directors: Fred Niblo
  • Writers: Douglas Fairbanks, Alexandre Dumas père, Edward Knoblock, Lotta Woods
  • Producers: Douglas Fairbanks
  • Format: Black & White, Silent, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304083203
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,968 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Douglas Fairbanks established himself as the first action hero in a series of lavish, action-packed adventures beginning with The Mark of Zorro in 1920. The next year Fairbanks called on the director of that success, Fred Niblo, to direct him in the even more ambitious The Three Musketeers, a swashbuckling costume classic packed with romance, knockabout humor, and Fairbanks's patented brand of gymnastic action. In a perfect match with his exuberantly cocky personality, Fairbanks plays the naive but gifted son of an impoverished nobleman who goes to Paris to seek his fame in the legendary king's guards, known as the Musketeers. The quick-tempered hick is easy to rile and immediately secures duels with the best swordsmen in France, the infamous Three Musketeers, before bonding with them in a brawling fight with the Cardinal's men. Meanwhile, the conniving Cardinal plots to humiliate the Queen and gain the ear of the foppish, easily manipulated King (Adolphe Menjou). The complicated plot introduces more characters than one can easily keep track of and Niblo tends toward static, airy setups that show off the spectacular sets, relying on the bounding energy of human dynamo Fairbanks to create the energy, which he does with cocksure confidence and a smile simultaneously generous, genuine, and just a little smug. Fairbank's version is a veritable blueprint for Richard Lester's excellent 1974 remake. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is undoubtedly one of the GREAT masterpieces of early cinema, or let's better say, of cinema in general.
Sabina Frick Foka
With his exuberant and dynamic style, as well as attention to historic details, these groundbreaking films were among the most successful of the decade.
Barbara Underwood
D'Artagnan is very hot-headed, willing to fight and duel at the drop of a hat, and makes himself several enemies before he even gets to Paris.
Anyechka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Nichols on July 2, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Silent movie fans will be delighted with this swashbuckling tale starring the one and only Douglas Fairbanks! Set in France of long ago, this film uses elaborate costumes, wonderful sets and a hoard of extras. Fairbanks IS Dartanion as he sword fights his way into the Musketeers with bavery, arrogance and that wonderful touch of humor that seems to sparkle through his films. Spectacular stunts (done by the man himself), a wild chase scene and a supporting cast including Eugene Paulette (before he became rotund) and Adolph Menjou make this a silent screen classic everyone will enjoy! Watch out for the "odious Cardinal!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on April 27, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is where it all started: right after his first successful action adventure, "The Mark of Zorro", Douglas Fairbanks decided that the classic Dumas novel about musketeers and intrigues at the French royal court would make another exciting swashbuckling adventure, and he was right! With all the countless remakes of "The Three Musketeers" over the decades, it's well worth going right back to the first version that started it all. In the silent era, emphasis was often put on the visual aspects such as sets, action and acting, and Fairbanks had a most expressive style of pantomime - the ancient art of acting using gestures and body language, similar to mime. Fairbanks was also an exceptional athlete who did his own stunts and action sequences, even learning to fence for his roles as Zorro and then D'Artagnan, which led to further successful action costume adventures, including the sequel to "The Three Musketeers" namely "The Iron Mask". It was these 1920s classic adventure films by Fairbanks that set the stage for Hollywood action heroes and adventure movies right up to our day. With his exuberant and dynamic style, as well as attention to historic details, these groundbreaking films were among the most successful of the decade. Put all these elements together and you have a thrilling action-packed adventure with quite a complex plot that builds in suspense to an exciting climax. There are electrifying sword fights and impressive athletics by Fairbanks, interesting characters like the power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu who devises various schemes to undermine the Queen. This becomes a quest for D'Artagnan and the three musketeers who gladly risk their lives for the Glory of France and the Queen's honour. "The Three Musketeers" is a perfect balance of romance, humour, action, excitement and fun. For anyone who enjoys classic movies and stories, you can't pass "The Three Musketeers", and needless to say, it belongs in any good silent film collection as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mark dalen on December 17, 2006
Format: DVD
This is the third Fairbanks movie I've seen and quite frankly this is not really that good. It pales when compared to Robin Hood and especially Thief of Bagdad. The movie is too fragmented and needs way too many textboards to keep viewers up to par with the story.

Fairbanks is fun to watch and when he's on screen he dominates. However,'presence' is not the same as acting. Fairbanks, and therefore the movie, is way too dependent on farcical comedy. At times the movie even edges dangerously close to a vaudeville act. Also his 'swashbuckling' in this movie amounts to not much more than just wildly wacking away with his sword. Maybe I saw it too soon after the hugely superior Thief of Bagdad....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2010
Format: DVD
The French reviews may have been scathing enough for him to swear never to set foot in France again but Douglas Fairbanks' 1921 version of The Three Musketeers is easily one of the original King of Hollywood's most enjoyable films, with less of his scenery-chewing ham that dates so many of his films and more of the great stunts that fuelled his fame, many of which are still very impressive indeed today. The sword fights are pretty decent, but more for Fairbanks' athleticism than the fencing as he leaps over duelling swordsmen or stabs one of Richelieu's dastardly men while doing a somersault. Small wonder it was one of Fairbanks' favorite roles and one he would return to in his lavish farewell to the silent era, 1929's superb The Iron Mask.

Even though it's pre-Production Code, the story has been more than a little watered down to suit the morality of the day - the Queen here is no adulteress and the Duke of Buckingham's advances are emphatically unwanted, while Milady is a minor character who never gets to seduce D'Artagnan, let alone have her revenge - and it's more D'Artagnan than the Musketeers, a star vehicle that relegates his three companions to sidekicks for most of the film. Yet it's all great fun, the comedy playing well and Fred Niblo directing with vitality, filling the Paris street scenes with a convincing array of movement and everyday activity to disguise his comparatively limited resources (it's nowhere near as spectacular as it's infinitely superior sequel). It's decently cast too, with Adolph Menjou's King Louis and Nigel de Brulier's villainous Cardinal Richelieu making a good double-act as they try to outwit each other and Eugene Palette's Aramis making the most of his limited opportunities.

Kino's DVD is definitely the one to go for: it may not have any extras, unlike several of their other Fairbanks releases, but it's a fine transfer unlike the many public domain versions from other labels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on December 3, 2006
Format: DVD
While this is ultimately an enjoyable and fulfilling film, I don't think it's perhaps the most ideal first Douglas Fairbanks film for a new fan, nor an ideal first silent either. Because it was based on a novel, naturally a lot of things were condensed or left out entirely. This works two ways; those who have read the book and loved it will be upset that a lot of key elements were left out, and those who haven't read the book yet won't always be able to fully understand what's going on. And since it was based on a novel, it is a bit chatty for a silent, with numerous lengthy intertitles. Because there are so many characters, it's kind of hard to keep track of who's whom; the numerous plotlines can also be a bit hard to keep track of. A condensed version of the rather complex plot is that the picture starts with King Louis XIII (Adolphe Menjou before he became a big star) and his wife Anne of Austria (the rather doughy-faced Mary MacLaren). These two didn't exactly have the happiest of marriages, and I'll never forget my AP European History teacher, my sophomore year of highschool, telling us the story about how if it hadn't been for a certain thunderstorm one evening that forced the unhappily wed couple to take refuge in a cabin, there would have been no Louis XIV.Read more ›
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