5th Musketeer (1979)

Genre: Adventure, Historical Adventure | Age: 8-9


Ages 4 & Under -- Probably Not
Ages 5 to 7 -- With Guidance
Ages 8 to 9 -- Yes
Ages 10 to 12 -- Yes
Ages 13 to 15 -- Yes
Ages 15 to 17 -- Yes

5th Musketeer (1979)

HISTORICAL ADVENTURE: (1979, PG.) (Columbia Pictures) (1 hr, 43 min) In 17th Century France, D’Artagnan and the other Musketeers, the weak and foppish King Louis’s private guards, now disbanded, raise young Philip anonymously. Ambassador Colbert, returns with a marriage treaty from Spain. Minister Fouquet’s henchmen attack, kidnap Philip and imprison the Musketeers. Philip is encased in an iron mask. Fouquet plans to use Philip, who is a double for the King, to be assassinated in the King’s place. The King, after miraculously resurrecting, will consolidate his power. Philip survives the assassination attempt and charms both the Princess Marie-Theresa of Spain and the people of Paris. Fouquet summon Louis’ mother, Anne, now a nun, to explain the circumstance of his birth: Philip and Louis are twin brothers. Marie-Theresa discovers Louis has a mistress and refuses to marry him. Colbert sends the Musketeers to rescue Maria-Theresa fearing Louis will attack her. She discovers she’s in love with Philip. Philip is captured and put in the iron mask again. Maria-Theresa hatches a plot to kidnap Louis, imprison him in the iron mask, and substitute Philip as the King of France. Fouquet discovers the plot and frees Louis, D’Artganan kills Fouquet, Louis is drowned, Colbert is rescued, and Queen Anne claims Philip as her son, now the King of France.

VIOLENCE/SCARINESS: Lots of swashbuckling. Fighting with swords, fists, knives, guns, kicking, etc. We briefly see a dog with its throat cut. Moderate body count, but with no blood or gore. Fouquet ruthlessly kills a dozen soldiers who saw Philip’s face. When Marie-Theresa discovers Louis with his mistress, she attacks Marie-Theresa with a falcon. One man is trampled to death by a horse, but we see nothing. Louis tears Maria-Theresa’s dress and tries to rape her. Fouquet beats Colbert, bloodying his face.

CRIMES: Kidnapping (P), Treason (U), Murder (P), Perjury (U).

MORALS, ISSUES & VALUES: At the center of the film is illegally and secretaly substituting a good but illegitimate king for a bad one. To keep peace in Europe, Louis must marry a princess from Spain; even though he prefers is own mistresses. The French public hates King Louis. By faking his death and resurrection, Louis will claim to have his royal authority supported by God. Louis is vain, silly, sarcastic, rude, dishonest, scheming, and naive while Philip is self-assured, perceptive, clever, and responsible. Bernard, a blind man, is a fully competent innkeeper.

SEXUALITY & GENDER ISSUES: Nuclear and single parent families. Traditional gender roles. Queen Anne became a nun. Louis has a mistress. Marie-Theresa wants to marry for love, not politics. She is the instigator of the plot to substitute Phillip for Louis. A crowd calls Louis’ mistress a “whore.” She takes off most of her clothes and climbs into Louis’ bed. Her underwear reveals considerable cleavage. The film implies that Philip’s macho heroics are what make him attractive to Marie-Theresa. After spending the night with Philip, we see Maria-Theresa nude from the waist up, but we see nothing. As part of the plot to kidnap Louis, Maria-Theresa may have had sex with him. Afterward she reveals considerable cleavage.

SUBSTANCES: Porthos drinks beer before breakfast. Brandy and wine in various social situations.

COMMENTS: Austrian production with wonderful locations, interiors, costumes and castles. A well-done rendering of the classic story of twins who have different vastly natures that should be enjoyed by the whole family.

STARRING: Beau Bridges, Sylvia Kristel, Ursula Andress, Cornel Wilde, Ian McShane, Lloyd Bridges, Alan Hale, Jr., Jose Ferrer, Rex Harrison, Olivia DeHavilland, Helmut Dantine.

ALTERNATES: A more modern version of the story features Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Man in the Iron Mask.”


Nudity -- 3
Sexuality -- 3
Physical Violence -- 3
Emotional Stress -- 2
Blood or Gore -- 2
Language/Profanity -- 0
Immorality -- 3
Parental Guidance -- 2
Watchability for Adults -- 3
Overall (For Kids of the Appropriate Age) -- 3
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