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The 5th Musketeer
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High Adventure, low comedy and a galaxy of international stars highlight this rousing, tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler. Louis XIV of France (Beau Bridges) who is as brave as the King is scurrilous. Toraise money, the monarch plans to wed the Spanish Infanta (Sylvia Kristel), despite his continuing affair with the cunning Madame de la Valliere (Urdula Andress). In the meantime, D'Artagnan (CornelWilde) and the aging Musketeers are teaching Philippe the ways of chivalry. Soon, Louis has his twin arrested and imprisoned in the Bastille, hidden behind forged head-gear. But after the Musketeers free him, Philippe concocts a daring plot to win the sexy Infanta and make his royal double "The Man in the Iron Mask."
An appealing cast of film veterans makes this 1977 action-adventure version of Alexandre Dumas's The Man In the Iron Mask particularly watchable. Lloyd Bridges co-stars as swordsman Aramis, one of several Musketeer tutors of young and brave Phillippe (Beau Bridges, Lloyd's son), who doesn't know he's the identical twin brother of King Louis XIV. Captured by Louis, his features briefly disguised by an uncomfortable iron mask, Phillippe is forced to play his villainous sibling in an assassination scenario designed to fool France into believing its mad emperor is dead. Phillippe, however, turns the tables, and with the aid of Aramis, Athos (Jose Ferrer), Porthos (Alan Hale Jr.), and D'Artagnan (Cornel Wilde), makes a bold attempt to take his country's destiny in hand. Also on view are Rex Harrison, Ursula Andress, and Olivia DeHavilland; the star wattage and attractive settings compensate somewhat for director Ken Annakin's stiff and unimaginative direction. --Tom Keogh
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If you can get ahold of the uncut version and can play it, do so. This is quite a good movie with lots of good performances, including turns by several mainstays of classic Hollywood - the great Rex Harrison in one of his last roles and Olivia de Havilland as the mother of Louis XIV, to name two. There's all the sword action you could expect from a Musketeers movie. Andress drips sex and menace as the scheming mistress of King Louis, while Kristel (best known, of course, as Emmanuelle) is sweet and winsome as the Spanish princess dispatched to marry the King who ends up falling for his lookalike. Beau Bridges makes a good foppish Louis, but I'm not sure he's quite dashing enough to play Philippe, the lookalike; however, he gives it the old college try and acquits himself decently.