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  1. #1
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    Having just got The Three Musketeers film on DVD I've just watched it for the first time in years. It brought back fond memories of when I went to see it at the cinema in Norwich with several school friends, frighteningly too long ago!



    It was very funny, particularly Spike Milligan and Roy Kinnear, and we sat on the back row at the flicks and laughed the sort of laughter guaranteed to make you physically exhausted and tearful. It was also full of swashbuckling adventure that everyone loves, and it has stood the test of time and it is still a brilliant film today.



    A very good cast and excellent sets and definitely a favourite film of mine.



    I haven't seen the sequel, in case I'm disappointed with it I suppose (as is often the case) but didn't Roy Kinnear die during the making of it? He was one of those actors you just had to look at and you'd start grinning! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clapping.gif[/img]

  2. #2
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    Very sad about Roy Kinnear. He did fall from a horse when it stumbled. Ironically, at first, it seemed as if he had only injured his hip and would recover. Dick Lester said he lost confidence in himself afterwards, even though the stunt people had okayed the scene and it was nobody's fault. That's a pretty extreme reaction, but perhaps Kinnear's death coincided with a general feeling of malaise that Lester was having about his career at the time....

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Originally posted by AndrewLA@Jun 5 2005, 10:25 AM

    and it was nobody's fault.
    I seem to remember the UK inquest was VERY critical of the Spanish hospital facilities. The suggestion was with greater care and diligence Roy would still be with us today. There was a helluva stink about it which strained relations between the two countries.



    Perhaps Dick Lester shouldered some of the blame because Roy had zero horse skills, it was late in the evening, everyone was tired and Roy probably should not have been on the nag in the first place.

  4. #4
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    Interesting about the Spanish hospital facilities. I always wondered how a "simple" hip injury could result in death, but there's nothing deadlier than a careless hospital. My reference was more to the stunt itself, which apparently was considered a simple scene.



    Lester does seem to have taken the death personally, and the reasons you indicate could well have contributed. In his book-long interview with Stephen Soderbergh ("Getting Away With It"), Lester says that ultimately it was his responsibility to have placed Roy Kinnear in that time and situation, and he was deeply affected by the pain and grief felt by Kinnear's wife.



    There's an intriguing comment about Lester by Soderbergh at the end of the book, that he was "in possession of a kind of ruthless expediency." Soderbergh quickly goes on to say that this is only a hypothesis and, even if true, is hardly a crime. So he's not criticising Lester, far from it, he obviously admires him. But it does suggest that Soderbergh picked up a quality in Lester that maybe all great directors need to a degree -- a willingness sometimes to cut corners and put their actors at risk.

  5. #5
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    Did't Oliver Reed get stabbed through the shoulder in the same film?.

  6. #6
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    I saw that about 5 or 6 years after the film was made, Roy Kinnear's widow won a large settlement after suing the films producers for negligence. They showed a video of him falling off the said horse at speed. I think they argued that he should not have taken part in the stunt in the first place

  7. #7
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    As a fan of Oliver Reed I sat down and watched the DVD version of it today - and slowly came to realise that he's hardly in it



    Even though his is the first name to appear on the opening titles, Ollie's contribution (and for that matter, Chamberlain's and Finlay's) are in essence a few staged brawls. It's really Michael York who carries the film from start to end.



    Still, the staged brawls are great - and the film is a good romp all the way through - but it's Michael York's film for sure.

  8. #8
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    Did't Oliver Reed get stabbed through the shoulder in the same film?.
    Yes, and Christopher Lee injured his knee during the sword fight on the ice. The Lester Musketeers always seemed to be dangerous ground, only culminating in Kinnear's unfortunate accident. Perhaps no wonder that Lee, who originally was asked to have another sword fight at the end of Return of the Musketeers, declined to do so. He reminded Reed & Co, who were complaining about feeling their old bones, that he was the same age as them now when doing the first two movies instead. I guess that all good-natured pulling of legs stopped after Kinnear's death.

  9. #9
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    I'm almost positive that Michael Hordern dubs the voice for Georges Wilson as Treville, the commander of the musketeers. But there's nothing I can find to back that up - other than my ears!



    Hordern was a Lester regular, so I wonder why he wasn't just cast instead - unless it was the international flavour of the film?

  10. #10
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    I'm almost positive that Michael Hordern dubs the voice for Georges Wilson as Treville, the commander of the musketeers. But there's nothing I can find to back that up - other than my ears!



    Hordern was a Lester regular, so I wonder why he wasn't just cast instead - unless it was the international flavour of the film?
    Roy Kinnear died during the filming of the 1989 Return of the Musketeers

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    I'm almost positive that Michael Hordern dubs the voice for Georges Wilson as Treville, the commander of the musketeers. But there's nothing I can find to back that up - other than my ears!

    Hordern was a Lester regular, so I wonder why he wasn't just cast instead - unless it was the international flavour of the film?
    I think that is why. It was released in France first and presumably the likes of Georges Wilson and Jean-Pierre Cassel used their own tones for that version but Lester turned to Hordern as he was one of his favourite actors.



    In Andrew Yule's book on Lester The Man Who 'Framed' the Beatles he says of Hordern "If I could make a film with a part for Michael in it every year, I'd be a very happy man."

  12. #12
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    And Jean Pierre Cassel is of course voiced by Richard Briers as well! Which is strange, since Cassel speaks perfectly good English in 'Lovely War', 'Flyng Machines' and the abysmal 'From Hell to Victory', but this is the film business, so logic doesn't come into it.



    If you have a multi region DVD player, I would have advised trying to get hold of a copy of the Complete Musketeers. It was released in 2003, with loads of extras like “The Saga of the Musketeers? - Parts 1 and 2, The Making of THE THREE MUSKETEERS, TV Spots and Theatrical Trailers, etc, and one of the jewels of my DVD collection. You get get an old one from the States for about $16, but I notice that although Anchor Bay are no longer releasing it, Lionsgate have repacked it and re-released it in June. At as little as £4.99 (the same as the basic Region 2 version) its a bargain.



    Unfortunately, the third film isn't available on DVD, so next time you see its on Virgin (and they've run it twice now), record it, because who knows when there will be a release. Admittedly, its pretty much the Godfather III of the litter, and Kinnear's death makes it even sadder (Lester stopped directing because of it), but still better than the more recent Musketeers films.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    All three films are hugely enjoyable and even though the Musketeers themselves are second stage to D'Artagnan they have some memorable set pieces.



    It was a bit of Musketeer overload the other day with both this version of the story and the Kiefer Sutherland one showing on TV plus another showing of the Return ...

    Still, you can't have too much of a good thing.

  14. #14
    GRAEME
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    Thanks to Sir OllyBolly and Dremble Wedge for the confirmation and info. Cheers!

  15. #15
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    I always found it weird that the Michael York & Co versions took TWO films to tell the story of the book 'The Three Musketeers' which were released (of course)as 'The Three Musketeers' and then a year or so later by 'The Four Musketeers'.Weird,because,each one as I recall clocks in at around two hours or just under,yet the older version with Gene Kelly told the WHOLE story in under two hours!

    The 'Return of The Musketeers',of course came later,but if you really want some brain exercise,try and work out the running order of the original stories! 'The Man In The Iron Mask' is a Musketeers story too of course,but apparently is only ONE section of a multi-volume work,parts of which are no longer in print! Nightmare for completists to either read or collect!

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    IIRC they were originally made as one film ... the producers (the Salkinds) cut it in half, left in bits that were to be edited out (especially from the second film) and released it as two films. Cue major lawsuits etc from those involved who were only paid for one.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    version with Gene Kelly told the WHOLE story in under two hours!
    The other versions didn't tell the whole story, even Lester's Musketeers left some bits out.

    IIRC they were originally made as one film ... the producers (the Salkinds) cut it in half, left in bits that were to be edited out (especially from the second film) and released it as two films. Cue major lawsuits etc from those involved who were only paid for one.
    It was originally planned as a three and a half hour epic but before they started filming it was going to be released as two films. Lester thought this was because he had persuaded the producers (Alexander & Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler) to move production from Hungary to Spain (which turned out to be more expensive but easier and quicker to film there) and they reckoned they could offset some of the extra costs by making it two films.



    Pierre Spengler disputed this saying they had realised that they were unlikely to get a large family audience to see such a long film, but they might get them to go twice to see a 'sequel' a year later...



    The actors weren't told. Their contracts referred to the 'project' rather than 'film' or 'films' - Charlton Heston was the most phlegmatic about it, Faye Dunaway the angriest. As a result of their chicanery the 'Salkind clause' was introduced to acting contracts by the Screen Actors Guild preventing any further occurences.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    All three films are hugely enjoyable and even though the Musketeers themselves are second stage to D'Artagnan they have some memorable set pieces.



    It was a bit of Musketeer overload the other day with both this version of the story and the Kiefer Sutherland one showing on TV plus another showing of the Return ...

    Still, you can't have too much of a good thing.
    I was hoping to finally see The Return and record it, but the dratted Virgin 1 was not tuned in through the recorder.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I was hoping to finally see The Return and record it, but the dratted Virgin 1 was not tuned in through the recorder.
    I just finished watching it for the first time in many years. Apart from the pleasure of seeing the original cast together again, the best thing about it is Kim Cattrall, she is terrific! The film itself I found difficult to watch, especially when taking into account the death of Roy Kinnear. The film comes across as a very poor relation to the first two, which are class acts indeed.



    (ps - it is still a better film, however, than the Sutherland/Sheen version which I watched with TBW earlier today .... he wants to see more of 'The Musketeers', so that double DVD of the first two Lester films will be getting yet another airing very soon)

  20. #20
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    Hello MikeB,

    RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS is/was available in the French COMPLETE MUSKETEERS box set. Check amazon.fr. The film has English audio. Picture quality is not as good as the first one. There is a French-language commentary track with Pierre Spengler.

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