Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William, Alan Hale
Genre: Adventure, History, Romance
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 132 minutes
Footnotes in movie books are likely to reduce this swashbuckling adventure down to a simple description: it was the first movie to star Leonardo DiCaprio after the phenomenal success of Titanic. As such it automatically attracted a box-office stampede of Leo's young female fans, but critical reaction was deservedly mixed. Having earned his directorial debut after writing the Oscar-winning script for Mel Gibson's Braveheart, Randall Wallace wrote and directed this ambitious version of the often-filmed classic novel by Alexandre Dumas. DiCaprio plays dual roles as the despotic King Louis XIV, who rules France with an iron fist, and the king's twin brother, Philippe, who languishes in prison under an iron mask, his identity concealed to prevent an overthrow of Louis' throne. But Louis' abuse of power ultimately enrages Athos (John Malkovich), one of the original Four Musketeers, who recruits his former partners (Gabriel Byrne, Gérard Depardieu, and Jeremy Irons) in a plot to liberate Philippe and install him as the king's identical replacement. Once this plot is set in motion and the Musketeers are each given moments in the spotlight, the film kicks into gear and offers plenty of entertainment in the grand style of vintage swashbucklers. But it's also sidetracked by excessive length and disposable subplots, and for all his post-Titanic star power, the boyish DiCaprio just isn't yet "man" enough to be fully convincing in his title role. Still, this is an entertaining movie, no less enjoyable for falling short of the greatness to which it aspired. --Jeff Shannon
D'Artagnan, I am not angry with you. I knew you would leave me to them, and so you have. Lay down your sword and I will not punish you. I will let you retire in peace, and I will give your friends a swift execution, if you surrender NOW!
Perhaps you should take his offer. We're dead anyway.
He's right, D'Artagnan.
Wait. Bargain me to Louis for all your lives. You've done your best. Please let me go.
No, I cannot do it. Even if I could give up my king, I could never give up my son.
I loved your mother. I love her still. You are my son. I never knew you existed. And I never felt pride as a father... until this moment.
D'Artagnan... They're young Musketeers. They've been weaned on our legends. They revere us. It is an advantage.
Yes. Why don't we charge them?
I trained these men. They will fight to the death. But if we must die - if WE must die - let it be like this.
One for all. All for one.
No, wait, do not hold your goblet that way. With a king it is so.
It is not to be dainty. Servants have touched the King's goblet, so he will touch it as little as possible.
I am so sorry! Forgive me, I...
No! Do not be sorry! Never be sorry! The King cares for nothing and for no one! There are no mistakes when you are King! What you do is right for every person! A King has contempt for everyone!
Is that the kind of king you wish me to be? Or do you say this because of your son?
Forgive me, I would never presume...
I am not... I am not angry with you. Do you understand? Good. Of course we wish you to be a good king. But first you must pass as Louis, and Louis is cold and cruel. The eyes of this King say that all he cares about is himself. You eyes ask too much. You shouldn't care about me...
You mustn't ask about my son...
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