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The Cardinal Richelieu (Massimo Serato) has summoned Musketeer
d'Artagnan (George Nader) to help him save the King from a coup by his own
mother and brother, both of whom have fleed to Holland. D'Artagnan teams
up with his old friend and fellow Musketeer Porthos (Mario Petri), and
together the two infiltrate the meeting of the conspirators, and soon
manage to identify the Duke of Montserrat (Georges Marchal) as their head
... but they are found out in the process, and in the fight that ensues,
d'Artagnan is wounded but saved by Diana (Alessandra Panaro), niece of
Montserrat, who hides him because she hates her uncle, and she and her
maid Carlotta (Magali Noel) nurse him back to health ... oh, and of
course, d'Artagnan falls in love with Diana before long and Porthos with
Montserrat needs Diana though as he needs her inheritance to
finance the revolt, especially after d'Artagnan and Porthos have
intercepted one of his messengers to Holland who was to deliver a handy
sum, enough to start a war, to the King's enemies. And d'Artagnan has not
only handed him over to the King's men but also marked him a traiter by
carving an "X" into his forehead, a secret mark that's to tell
Richelieu and the King who's a traitor at face value.
Montserrat eventually manages to torture her fortune out of Diana by
breaking pretty much every body in her hand, but by that time, d'Artagnan
has fortunately found out where the conspirators might meet - it's Diana's
childhood home - and has found out about all the secret passageways the
mansion is equipped with, and thus has the place overrun by his Musketeers
while the meeting's in place. A big fight ensues of course, at the climax
of which Montserrat takes his own niece hostage ... but everything ends
happily of course.
While in the early 1960s, most Italian
costume dramas were peplums (sword and sandal movies, frequently with
bodybuilders in the lead), they also did the occasional swashbuckler -
like this Three
Musketeers-story adapted rather freely from Dumas' books
(actually it's supposed to be a sequel to the original story), and
bringing a simplified story to the screen compared to Dumas' world of many
intrigues. Now it has to be admitted, the movie is rather charming in its
simplicity, and emphasis on action over long-winded storytelling ... but
then again, the action is not all that well staged, the story is too
predictable for its own good, the characters are mostly uninteresting, the
whole thing is not all that thought through and relies on a few too many
coincidences to work stringently, and unfortunately, also the rather low
budget sometimes shows. It's still at least some escapist fun - but there
are better Italian swashbucklers from that period out there, believe me.
the way, Georges Marchal, lead villain, played d'Artagnan in the 1953 film
Les Trois Mousquetaires by André Hunebelle.