25 January 2007 | Kevin Clarke
Not looking his best...
After admiring Douglas Fairbank's smashing looks in the later THIEF OF BAGDAD, I have to say he looks extremely unattractive in these pseudo-historical French costumes and a wig you wonder where he got it from. And not only does he as the star attraction look bad - the French queen (for one) is just as terrible with an equally terrible wig. Not to mention the Three Musketeers: stout, unsporty, unfunny. I wonder if in 1921 this was considered 'attractive'? (I very much doubt it.) Still, some of the scenes are fun to watch, even at epic length (more than two hours running time.) I guess with the right symphonic live music it must have been impressive back then. With cheap (and thin sounding) computer music as a soundtrack on DVD today, it is... a bit dreary. (Sadly.)
Interstingly, there is a 1929 stage operetta of the same title by Benatzky/Charell created for Berlin (and recently revived in Nordhausen, Germany), that makes interesing comparison with this film - whole scenes have been taken 1:1 from it. Only with better music attached to it.
It would be fun to see the film with a Benatzky-based soundtrack!