Tuesday, 21 January 2014

"The Musketeers" Episode 1 BBC review

Fine production values, atmospheric wintry locales, an appealing cast and just the right balance of drama with tongue-in-cheek. I think "Da Vinci's Demons" covers a lot of similar ground - swashbuckling, buxom wenches, well toned abs, spies, carousing in the tavern, evil church figures, pretty European scenery. All actors with English accents.
Yes, it's a 'romp' and will rate well.....but
... if you want to see the best version, seek out Richard Lester's "The Three Musketeers"(1973) and "The Four Musketeers" (released a year later but filmed together).
Great cast of British actors: Frank Finlay, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, Spike Milligan, Roy Kinnear. Charlton Heston having fun as Richelieu. Faye Dunaway as a kickass Milady. Raquel Welch in her best role as the klutzy Constance. All the cast have English accents (some Working Class, to denote the French class system), none with the "Allo, Allo" accent. This accent idea was quite groundbreaking for 1970's cinema.
Richard Lester combines action, steam punk (check out Richelieu's gadgets) and cheeky humour.
The definitive retelling of an old favourite.

Best line in the BBC version:
"Want to go to Heaven for 50 sous?"
"Are you a religious nutcase?"
"It was a metaphor."

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