The Three Musketeers

This 12-chapter serial from John Wayne’s poverty-row period is not, alas, based on the famous Dumas swashbuckler; The Three Musketeers is, rather, an odd old Foreign Legion desert epic with an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ambience and a de rigueur hooded villain unmasked in the last reel. Considering the infamously minuscule budgets at Mascot studio, the serial is decently made; some of the aerial combat stuff looks like scenes from a genuine movie. And it’s fun to see the pre-stardom Duke, Lon Chaney Jr. (billed as Creighton Chaney, his real name), and Noah Beery Jr. (of The Rockford Files) back when they were unpolished young up-and-comers. Still, unless you’re a genre fanatic, this is a curiosity at best, and Rhino’s film-to-tape transfer — made from what appears to be a 16 mm print with a noisy soundtrack — is merely okay. C

The Three Musketeers
  • Movie
  • 110 minutes