The Three Musketeers is a 1973 film based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It was directed by Richard Lester and written by George MacDonald Fraser (famous for his Flashman series of historical comic novels). It was originally proposed in the 1960s as a vehicle for The Beatles, whom Lester had directed in two other films. It was intended to run for three hours, but later it was split into two, the second part becoming 1974's The Four Musketeers. In 1989, the cast and crew returned to film The Return of the Musketeers, loosely based on Dumas' Twenty Years After. The film adheres closely to the novel, but it also injects a fair amount of humour. It was shot by David Watkins, with an eye for period detail. The fight scenes were choreographed by master swordsman William Hobbs and turn the swashbuckling movies of the Forties and Fifties on their collective ear; these are more like brawls, with the combatants using knees, fists, furniture and even wet laundry as often as they do their swords. The humor also can swing to the bawdy, with some double entendres and a bit of silliness that takes full advantage of Raquel Welch's (as Constance Bonacieux) charms, for instance.
I saw the word ‘whimsical’ used in one product description of this installment of The Three Musketeers, a faithful adaptation of the classic novel, and no word could better describe the film. It’s a combination of belly laughs via non-stop sight gags, endless swashbuckling, and only a dab of plot, all of which serve to make this an engaging event movie that takes place in France instead of in space. Packed with classic actors (including Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, and Raquel Welch), this is a fun, nearly farcical adventure that’s definitely worth a look.