Monday, February 12, 2007

Musketeers vs. Samurai



I just watched the delightful The Three and Four Musketeers by Richard Lester. I don't have many notes on the movies. I mean, if you don't know how fun they are, maybe you just don't deserve to. Worth noting that Oliver Reed is wonderful. They should have made an Athos movie, I think. Richard Chamberlain certainly is gay. Christopher Lee is also brilliant, as always, but it is a nice chance to see him play comedy, which his does very, very well.

Also, why is it in movies like this they can't decide on one way to pronounce d'Artagnan and make everyone use it. English or French, please. Both would make sense, but whole conversations in which on person says "dar-TANN-yun" and the other says "DAR-tun-YAH" is distracting and rather implausible.

To the point, however. What occurred to me for the first time, however, is the debt Akira Kurosawa may have to The d'Artagnan Romances, especially The Three Musketeers. I don't know if this is officially noted anywhere, so I could be repeating quite old news.

Both "The Three Musketeers" and Seven Samurai, focus on a character from a poor background who begins the story not fully fit into the group, d'Artagnan and Kikuchiyo. The co-lead in both cases is the older leader of the group, Athos and Shimada Kambei. In Seven Samurai, the lead vs. co-lead position is reversed, but in both cases, these two characters are the primaries.

I've not done a study, but it's a good excuse to entice all of you to make your own rentals and take a look. Or just ponder for a moment.

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