|The man Charlie called The Professor|
The film features the famous three swordsmen, Porpoise, Octopus and Walrus, not to mention the flashing blade called Dart-In-Again and runs ridiculous parallel to the Fairbank’s film’s romanticism. The Three Musketeers is outlandish enough and perhaps only a Frenchman could lampoon it as well as this – respectful tongue firmly in both cheeks.
|Crossing the Channel|
Max is Dart-In-Again also known as Knockout and he leaves his father’s farm, to find fame in Paris. He travels by donkey (Jazbo the Horse!) much to the chagrin of beast’s Friesian friend: the tracks of the cow’s tears mark the depths of her loss.
|"...ravishing yet love-starved..."|
The scarcely regal King (Frank Cooke) returns, nonplussed from his travels and the scheming Li'l Cardinal Richie-Loo (Bull Montana) watches on with his pet monk (Bynunsky Hyman) – half man-half pet… a bizarre sight.
|Bull Montana and Bynunsky Hyman|
Meanwhile… Max makes his way to Paris where he mistakenly rescues a poor man from harassment at the hands of the the cheesy villain, Roquefort (Jean de Limur). He’s mistaken, the pair were merely sharing a joke, and is duly knocked unconscious, tied backward on his mule and sent off… “Three months later…” runs the title card as he wakes up many miles away.
Now, I hear you ask, what about the three other guys? Dart heads to the musketeers recruiting office where he presents a letter from hid daddy to the diminutive “Goliath” in charge of proceedings – a very un-PC sight gag that plays upon preconceptions of size and its relative importance.
The three elite musketeers enter: Porpoise (Clarence Wertz), Octopus (Charles Mezzetti) and Walrus (John J. Richardson), only to be chided for killing just 99 of the Duke’s guards, thereby missing the cremation discount on a hundred dead.
|Porpoise, Octopus and Walrus... possibly not in that order.|
The musketeers are ambushed at their rendezvous and team up with their new fourth member to defeat the Duke’s assassins – no worries about that discount today. There’s more daring do as the team celebrates as Constance, looking on, sighs “Oh Knockout, Knockout, the Samson of my dreamless nights!” what is keeping her awake?!
|His regal majesty|
The films accelerates to its conclusion with a bewildering pace as telephones inform a guard on a motorcycles of the musketeers’ rescue plan and our hero sets sail for England on his horse. It’s great fun and the invention never slackens as Dart is surrounded by dozens of swords pointing at his head only to simply duck, leaving a platoon of the Duke’s guards pinned by their own swords…
|A tight spot?|
|Jobyna and Max|
The Three Must-Get-Theres is available on the Kino DVD set and is among the most essential of all silent comedy.