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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1939)


A musical comedy version of the swashbuckling classic starring Don Ameche and the Ritz Bros? It sounds like a Catskill burlesque sketch, but turns out to be a straight, if bare-bones, version of Dumas, with mistaken identity (times 3) swapping Al, Jim & Harry Ritz in for Athos, Aramis & Porthos. Vet megger Allan Dwan was an old hand at this type of material (his THE IRON MASK/’29 – in the restored KINO release, please – is one of the great Dumas adaptations) and the production has a giddying pace and a surprisingly sumptuous look to it. But the songs are unmemorable (to put it nicely) and leave an already short film hardly enough time to fit in a measly Cliff Notes edition of the grand old story.

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