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The Three Musketeers

USA 1933
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Colbert Clark, Armand Schaefer
starring John Wayne, Jack Mulhall, Raymond Hatton, Francis X. Bushman jr (= Ralph Bushman), Ruth Hall, Hooper Atchley, Gordon De Main, Lon Chaney jr (as Creighton Chaney), Robert Frazer, Noah Beery jr, Al Ferguson, Edward Peil sr, William Desmond, George Magrill, Robert Warwick, Yakima Canutt, Emile Chautard, Rodney Hildebrand, Merrill McCormick, Wilfred Lucas (voice)
written by Colbert Clark, Ben Cohen, Wyndham Gittens, Norman S.Hall, somehow based on The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas père, music by Lee Zahler, supervising editor: Wyndham Gittens

serial

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere in Africa: A squad of the Foreign Legion is about to be erradicated by gunrunners when American pilot Tom Wayne (John Wayne) in his airplane comes to their unexpected rescue. The last three survivors of the squad - Clancy (Jack Mulhall), Renard (Raymond Hatton) and Schmidt (Francis X Bushman jr) decide to name themselves the Three Musketeers and they make Tom their D'Artagnan - and they all promise to help each other whenever they can ... and soon enough, Tom needs a lot of help since a masked and evil Arab warlord, El Shaytan - who is behind all the gunrunning in the region and who plans an Arab uprising to erradicate the Foreign Legion - has decided to wipe out Tom.

First, he has Tom accused for gunrunning - and not only that, but by Armand Corday (Lon Chaney jr)Tom's best friend and the brother of his sweetheart Elaine (Ruth Hall) too -, then El Shaytan kills Armand Corday and puts the blame on Tom - and the evidence he has fabricated is believable enough that even Elaine falls for it - temporarily ...

Ultimately, Tom finds himself between all stools, the Foreign Legion wants to arrest him for the murder of Armand, the American embassy wants to get hold of him for gunrunning, and El Shaytan and his Devil's Circle simply want to kill him - and only the three Musketeers are there to help him (and curiously enough, when Tom is arrested by the Legion, the Musketeers are always appointed to be his guards, even thouzgh they let him escape every time), and eventually, Elaine joins them when she finds evidence that Tom has not killed her brother ...

After many shoot-outs, fistfights, after chases to and fro by horse and aeroplane, Tom can not only clear himself, he has also come up with a handful of suspects to be El Shaytan, including Major Booth (Robert Frazer) of the US-embassy, Ali (Al Ferguson), Elaine's not so loyal servant, El Kadur (Hooper Atchley), an Arab leader, and even Colonel Duval (Gordon De Main), commander of the Foreign Legion - but as usual with Mascot-mysteries, in the end, El Shaytan proves to be someone completely different, Ratkin (Edward Peil sr), a seemingly harmless and peaceful trader. And of course, Wayne and the Musketeers manage to capture him and brind him to justice before Wayne is off to his honeymoon with Elaine ...

 

As usual with Mascot-serials, the plot as such - the typical over-convoluted murder mystery - doesn't make all that much sense ... but as usual with Mascot-serials, this doesn't really matter all that much, since the serial is fast-paced and packed with action and stunts that soon let one forgetthe actual narrative. So of course, if you like your murder mysteries with coherent and logical plots, you will no doubt hate The Three Musketeers, but if you just want a good ride with competently staged action and the usual pulp mainstays (like masked villains, hidden passageways and secret societies) you might find the serial right up your alley, it's your decision.

 

By the way, the whole serial has only very little/almost nothing to do with Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers.

Another interesting detail: John Wayne, who is doubtlessly the lead of the serial is only billed fourth in the serial's credits, after - of course - the three Musketeers, while Lon Chaney jr (as Creighton Chaney) is billed sixth in the credits of each and every episode, even though he appears only in episode one (of 12) ... and episode 10, in several scenes that are repeated from episode one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... 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