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Zorro e i tre Moschettieri

Zorro and the Three Musketeers
Zorro und die drei Musketiere / Mask of the Musketeers

Italy 1963
produced by
Alta Vista/Jonia Film
directed by Luigi Capuano
starring Gordon Scott, Maria Grazia Spina, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Mario Piso, Roberto Pisso, Livio Lorenzon, José Greci, Nazzareno Zamperla
music by Carlo Savina

Zorro, Three Musketeers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Zorro

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... if you think this has to take place in California or Mexico just because Zorro is in it, you are mistaken my friend ...

Spain, sometimes in the 17th century: Another of these annoying Franco-Spanish wars is taking place, & this time the 2 nations are fighting over castle Vandremond, a castle on the border of the 2 countries that's of strategic interest at best, & that's currently in Spanish possession & fiercly & successfully defended. But evil cardinal Richelieu has decided to turn the fortunes of war a little by taking prisoner the Spanish King Phillip's niece Donna Isabella (Maria Grazia Spina), & ask for the castle as ransom.

Philipp's not at all amused, & a message from the outlaw Zorro that he will free the girl doesn't lift his mood either - only when treacherous nobleman Count Sevilla promises to free the girl as well is he a little relieved.

But Zorro stops the Count on his way to France & discovers that he wanted to trade the girl for a map of the castle that shows all the secret entrances, which would basically mean selling the castle to the French ... Zorro chases off Sevilla & soon takes on his disguise to free Isabella on his own ... & he proves to be Count Tiroel (Gordon Scott), the most effeminate of the noblemen on King Philipp's court (which of course is just a clever guise).

Posing as Count Sevilla, Zorro soon makes the acquaintance of the 3 Musketeers (well, actually 4 of course, we all know their story) & they become friends. The 4 3 Musketeers even accompany him to Saint Denis, where Cardinal Richelieu holds Donna Isabella, but are disgusted to learn that Sevilla is actually a traitor to his own people - & therefore not the man of honour they took him for -, and when Zorro's about to leave with Isabella, they challenge him to a duel. Only when they find out Sevilla isn't Sevilla at all but Zorro/Tiroel, & has tricked the Cardinal into releasing Isabella, the Musketeers change sides & actually help Zorro escape - even though in the Franco-Spanish war he fights on the opponent's side.

Unfortunately Zorro has to leave Isabella behind, but he has wasted no time & already made up a second plan to free her ... even though by now the Musketeers are personally responsible that Isabella doesn't escape. But in the disguise of a French general coming to inspect castle Saint Denis, Zorro can stir up enough commotion & bring up the entire army of the castle against the 4 3 Musketeers so that he & Isabella can make a quick escape ... & this time for good.

Back at Philipp's court Isabella soon gets engaged to Count Tireol - of whom only she knows the secret identity -, but much to the dismay of Count Sevilla, who now suspects Tireol to be Zorro, too, & just waits for an opportunity to dispose of him & marry Isabella himself - an opportunity that soon arises when the French finally manage to conquer castle Vandremond, & Sevilla can plant sufficient evidence suggesting that Tireol has given away the castle's secrets to the French - which as you might remember, Sevilla himself wanted to do -, & Tireol is sentenced to death by beheading.

But in step the Musketeers - all 4 three of them -, who want to abduct Isabella whom they had failed to properly guard back in France. When they hear though the war is already over & Isabella is no longer needed, they reorganize their priorities & decide to free Tireol ... pulling him away from right under the hangman's blade ... a plan that almost goes wrong when the Musketeers oversleep (really). In the end though, the 4 3 Musketeers can not only free Zorro/Tireol but also reinstore his honour when they produce evidence right from Richelieu's desk that not Tireol but Sevilla has planned to betray castle Vandremond. 

& of course, after a final duel with Zorro, Sevilla gets his just desserts.

 

A simplistic & childish adventure-melange, that doesn't try to be in the least historically accurate, doesn't try to do much justice to its 2 famous sources (Zorro for example doesn't even wear a mask through the majority of the film - acutally only in 2 scenes - & his identity is pretty soon found out by everybody ... & it isn't Don Diego de la Vega) and little effort is made to even come close to similar Hollywood output starring Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power it is obviously modeled on ... & this carelessness actually makes the film all the more charming: yes it's a simple, even silly adventure yarn, & yes the action is not very well made, but the movie never pretends to be more than it is & delivers an enjoyable 1 1/2 hours ... which you might have forgotten another  1 1/2 hours later though.

Some of the music by Carlo Savina sounds so much like some of the film scores John Williams did 1 1/2 decades later for some of these unmentionable blockbusters it's a small miracle that Savina didn't sue (or did he ?).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD