Hey folks, Harry here... I have a long thriving dislike for the films of Paul W.S. Anderson - and certainly I can never quite forgive his ineptitude in making SOLDIER such a crappy film given the script & talent he had at his disposal - It's kind of hard to even imagine what that film could have been, but alas... get over it, move on.
My problem with Anderson's films is that he really exhibits next to no ability to get believable or emphatic performances out of his cast, his ideas are often times just limp on the screen and what you're left with is a film that physically looks good, but has nothing worth watching going on in it. Now he's attempting to adapt one of the greatest literary works of history - we've seen the trailer which is pretty to look at, but again... you can gather nothing from the performances really. And then there's this poster:
Now - THE THREE MUSKETEERS has been made, adapted and spoofed around 100 times now by Hollywood - but most film lovers know that it has really only been done well a couple of times. My personal favorite adaptation of Dumas' work was the classic Technicolor marvel from 1948 which featured a breathtakingly physical wonder named Gene Kelly as D'Artagnan, the great Van Heflin as Athos, Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne, the oh-my-god-hot Lana Turner as Lady De Winter, the Wizard of Oz as Louis XIII and Vincent Price as Cardinal Richelieu. That film feels like the most lush and beautiful and emotionally classic Hollywood telling of this oft-told tale.
But most geeks from the 70s swear eternal allegiance to the two part Richard Lester telling of the tale in THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS which featured an astonishing performance by the man-god Oliver Reed as Athos, the pitch perfect Michael York as D'Artagnan, Charlton Heston as Cardinal Richelieu, pant pant Raquel Welch as Constance, Faye Dunaway as the deadly Lady De Winter and a one eyed Christopher Lee as Rochefort. This was the version that I first fell in love with. It's fans are world wide - and it is absolutely a fantastic telling of the tale.
Now I like some of the other versions, like the silent Douglas Fairbanks telling, though I felt he was too old for the part of young D'Artagnan. Still it is just a very fun version of the tale. My favorite out right parody is the Mexican parody with Cantinflas as D'artagnan, but most are forgettable like Don Ameche's version with The Ritz Brothers. The versions made since Lester's run have been mostly forgettable. I hope that this one is great, I really do - a great modern THREE MUSKETEERS would be nice... I just can't imagine Paul W.S. Anderson delivering it.