Lester romps through Dumas' novel, coming up with an indulgent and enjoyable excuse to revive and send up the swashbuckling film. The plot is perfunctory, and centres round Cardinal Richelieu's attempts to embarrass the Queen of France, and the efforts of the loyal D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers to retrieve her diamonds which, of course, the King insists she must wear to the ball. No expense has been spared, and Lester obliges with a visually extravagant piece, a cross between the low-life realism of Pasolini and the lavishness of Zeffirelli. The cast is good (though it remains very much Lester's film), the fights appropriately energetic, and it all moves along at a fair pace, sprinkled with a number of good gags. The second half of the story was issued separately as The Four Musketeers.