Review: ‘The Three Musketeers’

The impotency of the sound medium in the field of romantic adventure comedy, when inexpertly handled, is revealed with melancholy effect in the unreeling of this famous Dumas story, remade with dialog. The Three mus keteers is dull entertainment.

The impotency of the sound medium in the field of romantic adventure comedy, when inexpertly handled, is revealed with melancholy effect in the unreeling of this famous Dumas story, remade with dialog. The Three Musketeers is dull entertainment.

Walter Abel, a young, competent, and well regarded player from Broadway, is unsuited in nearly every respect for the role of D’Artagnan. If the tempo of the film were faster and the acting more flamboyant in the spirit of the story, Abel might have fared better.

From the title to the final fade there is an almost continuous struggle between the dialog and the musical score as to which will finally capture the ear.

The three men in the title parts are Paul Lukas as Athos, Moroni Olsen as Porthos, and Onslow Stevens as Aramis. Nigel de Brulier is convincing as Richelieu, the same role he played in the 1921 Fairbanks picture. Ian Keith, as the villainous de Rochefort, is excellent, as always, in a costume role which requires acting in the grand manner.

The Three Musketeers

Production

RKO. Director Rowland V. Lee; Producer Cliff Reid; Screenplay Dudley Nichols, Rowland V. Lee; Camera Peverell Marley; Music Max Steiner

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Walter Abel
Paul Lukas
Margot Grahame
Heather Angel
Ian Keith
Moroni Olsen
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