Sons of the Musketeers (1952)

Maureen O'Hara as Claire daughter of Athos in Sons of the Musketeers (1952)

O'Hara's One of the Guys

Watched as a worthy sequel to Dumas' Musketeer story "Sons of the Musketeers", or "At Sword's Point" as it is also known, is not that good, oh there is a fun storyline about the children of the Musketeers taking over as protectors to the Queen but the storyline itself doesn't really grab you. Having said that the storyline works well as a vehicle for some great old fashioned swashbuckling action and some equally old fashioned romance. And it is that, the obvious romance and the terrific sword fights which makes "Sons of the Musketeers" still entertaining with both Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara doing a great job of leading all the sword play.

With the Duc de Lavalle (Robert Douglas) openly planning to seize power by forcing Queen Anne (Gladys Cooper) to let him marry her daughter Princess Henriette (Nancy Gates) and then making sure that Young Louis XIV, who is in hiding doesn't live, the Queen is running out of options. In hope she sends out messengers to the four musketeers and in return their children D'Artagnan Jr. (Cornel Wilde - The Greatest Show on Earth), Aramis Jr. (Dan O'Herlihy), Porthos Jr. (Alan Hale Jr.) and Claire (Maureen O'Hara - Rio Grande) the daughter of Athos and as good with a sword as D'Artagnan who she falls for. But whilst swearing to protect the Queen and her children the Musketeers must deal with betrayal within the Royal household.

Cornel Wilde and Nancy Gates in Sons of the Musketeers (1952)

So here is the thing "Sons of the Musketeers" is not a good movie if you are looking for a great story with a variety of strong characters. We may get the story of the Musketeer offspring uniting to serve the Queen and prevent Duc de Lavalle from seizing power by unfair means but it is for all the various elements such as betrayal and close calls quite slim. Basically it is a fun idea especially with Athos's daughter becoming the fourth musketeer but it is nothing more than a vehicle for some swordfights and a bit of old fashioned romance.

But do you know what; the slimness of the storyline is not a problem because it serves up everything you want from a swashbuckler. Watching both Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara tackle numerous men with their swords is exciting and often playful especially when the dashing D'Artagnan Jr. gaily leaps over a fallen tree whilst showing his prowess with both hands. And the obviousness but fun romantic moments as D'Artagnan Jr. and Claire fall for each other adds to the old fashioned charm. What this does mean is that whilst the characters are slim the good performances from the likes of Dan O'Herlihy, Alan Hale Jr. and Nancy Gates as Princess Henriette end up playing second fiddle to Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara.

Now whilst O'Hara looks as good as anyone with a sword and her battles have a ferocity which the others lack it does almost seem like she has been cast because she is beautiful, looks great in thigh high boots and has the feisty red head thing going on. It doesn't show O'Hara's talents as an actress but certainly as an action woman. Then there is Cornel Wilde as D'Artagnan and you can tick off every box on the list of action hero requirements, dashing, charming, comical and cavalier he delivers it all perfectly and his swordfights have the finesse which O'Hara's lack.

What this all boils down to is that "Sons of the Musketeers" is a fantastic old swashbuckler which will not only be a joy to watch for fans of Maureen O'Hara and Cornel Wilde but for fans of old fashioned sword fight movies. It doesn't really work that brilliantly as a sequel or offshoot of the original "Musketeers" because the storyline is slim but that doesn't matter one little bit.