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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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The Four Musketeers
DIRECTED BY RICHARD LESTER
RELEASED: 1974

Why's it so good? While many films have captured the rollicking adventure and swashbuckling side of Alexander Dumas' novels, this is the only one that shows the Musketeers grappling with real tragedy. D'Artagnan's girlfriend is kidnapped, Athos' past with Milady de Winter is revealed, and the super-happy ending is simply not forthcoming. Not until the end of The Man In The Iron Mask would we see another such downer.

The Four Musketeers The Four Musketeers
How does it stack up to the original? It's not as much fun, but it does show a remarkable consistency of quality - which should come as no surprise given that the Salkinds, producing, shot both films at once and split them in two at the editing stage, much to the fury of the cast, who were only paid once.

Glaring error: The attempt to make two movies for the price of one led to the introduction of the "Salkind Clause" into standard Hollywood acting contracts, ruling out this sort of shenanigans. Maybe if they'd been a little more diplomatic?


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 11 MONTHS


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