The Three Musketeers take very well to Richard Lester’s provocative version that does not send it up but does add comedy to this adventure tale [by Alexandre Dumas].
Here D’Artagnan, played with brio by Michael York, is a country bumpkin; the musketeers themselves are more interested in money, dames and friendship than undue fidelity to the King, a simple-minded type, and their fight scenes are full of flailing, kicks and knockabout. They are not above starting a fight at an inn to steal victuals when they run out of money.
Behind it, however, is a look at an era of poverty and virtual worker slavery to fulfill the King’s flagrantly rich whims.
Musketeers are played with panache by Richard Chamberlain as the haughty ladies’ man, Oliver Reed as the gusty one and Frank Finlay as the dandyish type. Raquel Welch has comedic timing as the maladroit girl of D’Artagnan while Faye Dunaway has less to do as the perfidious Milady, but makes up for the lack in the sequel [The Four Musketeers] quietly made at the same time.