‘The Three Musketeers’ stumble boisterously on to UK Region free Blu-ray with a very acceptable looking digitally restored 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Some scenes may appear to be overly bright, but I recall showing this film in the late 1970’s and that’s how it looked then too. It’s what a projectionist might call a ‘thin’ print. The bright sequences tend to be in Royal palaces and in some daytime exteriors. Colours are a tad muted throughout. Cardinal Richelieu’s scarlet robes don’t exactly leap off the screen at you and at times seem to have a pinkish hue in daylight scenes. Skin tones are healthy enough though, with a wide range from the Hollywood tan to the British pallor. The image lacks a bit of punch and displays a flatness that isn’t unexpected considering the style of lighting. Sharpness is pretty good but it’s not bitingly sharp. Contrast is fair with some deep blacks in the night scenes. It looks quite filmic, although grain didn’t catch my eye. Detail is okay, just not stunning and I struggle to find anything that stood out. It may not be up there with the best looking transfers, but for a 40 year old movie it looks quite decent. One caveat I’d make is that I noticed a few tiny picture jumps, like a dropped frame, here and there. This effect seems to be on several Optimum releases that I’ve had the pleasure to review.
The audio on ‘The Three Musketeers’ comes in a DTS HD MA 2.0 mix which is quite serviceable and dialogue is intelligible throughout. Unfortunately, Michel Legrand’s score sounded a bit strident and shrill to my delicate ears in several places – but I doubt if that’s really anything to do with the transfer rather than just the way it is.
There’s no hiss, snap, crackle or pop to offend the listener and the clash of swordplay sounds quite authentic. Obviously, there’s no deep bass here but it’s a soundtrack of its time. There's nothing to really praise here, but then again there's very little actually wrong. It's a good, workmanlike mix.
Zip, nada, null – or as it’s set in France ‘ne rien’.
This is a bare bones release. I won’t attempt to translate that.
‘The Three Musketeers’ are revived in the 1973 Dick Lester version of the classic Dumas novel on UK Region free Blu-ray with a very acceptable digitally restored 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
A bright image greets the viewer on many scenes, such is the style of the cinematography. Colours are a tad muted, while skin tones appear quite healthy throughout in this ‘European Cinema’ look movie.
The DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio delivers clean, clear dialogue although Michel Legrand’s score sounds rather strident at times in this mix with no age related issues to note.
There are no bonus materials in this bare bones release.
As a movie, it’s probably the most faithful version to the original story with the accent on humour rather than adventure. A superb cast led by Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Michael York, Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway have fun with the bawdy script as country boy D’Artagnan sets out to join the French King’s Musketeers and becomes caught up in intrigue – oh, and there’s a fair bit of sword fighting too!
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