Revenge of the Musketeers in the Iron Mask

Here are some more Dumas adaptations on instant Netflix.

 

Revenge of the Musketeers

Revenge of the Musketeers (1994) – Rated R

Raised in a nunnery, Eloise (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of D’Artagnan, discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king of France. Leaving the cloister, she enlists the aid of her father and his retired Musketeer cohorts to stop the conspirators. Pulse-pounding sword fights and tons of treachery follow as Eloise and the Musketeers fight for their lives and the honor of their king.”

With a title of Revenge of the Musketeers, you might think this a rather dark adaptation of the Dumas classic. While the Mother Superior is killed almost immediately, while protecting a slave, the mood here is not dark. The actual translation of the title would be The Daughter of D’Artagnon which is certainly more fitting. Speaking of translations, this is in French with subtitles.

There is a great moment halfway through the film when Sophie Marceau kills her first guard and you can see in her eyes that swordfighting has ceased being a game. The second half of the film shifts the focus from Eloise D’Artagnon to the Musketeers. The fights are well-staged and humorous.

I have to say I’m baffled as D’Artagnon was much younger than the Three Musketeers and yet he appears to be the one who aged as he is now a decade older than they. Other than that (and the subtitles if those bother you), this is an enjoyable romp. Sophie Marceau is quite good as Eloise. Phillippe Noiret is excellent as an aging D’Artagnon.

 

Iron Mask

The Iron Mask (1929) – Not rated

In this lavish sequel to The Three Musketeers, dashing D’Artagnan (Douglas Fairbanks) reunites comrades Athos (Leon Bary), Porthos (Tiny Sandford) and Aramis (Gino Corrado) to undertake the rescue of Louis XIV (William Bakewell), rightful king of France, who is locked away and forced to wear an iron mask. The musketeers must thwart the murderous machinations of Count De Rochefort (Ullrich Haupt) in Douglas Fairbanks’s silent-film swan song.”

Douglas Fairbanks’ final role in silent films allowed him to repeat a past success. He played D’Artagnon in The Three Musketeers back in 1921 and here again assays the role of the ultimate swashbuckler. He is great, very physical as always, though The Mark of Zorro is probably his best work.

Be aware that this is a black and white silent film. The acting, while of that era, is quite good. The Iron Mask is an enjoyable romp.

People Watch: Nigel de Brulier played Cardinal Richeliu in 1921’s The Three Musketeers (also starring Douglas Fairbanks as D’Artagnon). He repeats the performance here. Apparently he was so popular that he again played Richeliu in The Three Musketeers (1935) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1939).