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The Three Musketeers (1939)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  17 February 1939 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 334 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

D'Artagnan sings and fronts for slapstick cowardly Ritz brothers posing as musketeers.

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(novel) (as Alexandre Dumas) , (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Three Musketeers (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Ritz Brothers ...
Binnie Barnes ...
...
Pauline Moore ...
Lady Constance
...
...
Naveau
...
...
...
Athos (as Douglas Dumbrille)
John 'Dusty' King ...
Aramis (as John King)
Russell Hicks ...
Gregory Gaye ...
Vitray
Lester Matthews ...
Egon Brecher ...
Landlord
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Storyline

A parodic remake of the story of the young Gascon D'Artagnan, who arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, Aramis, and Athos. Together they fight to save France and the honor of a lady from the machinations of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A musical comedy version of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers.


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One for All  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stars the real life siblings, The Ritz Brothers, who were vaudeville stars much like the Marx Brothers, but not as successful. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where horsemen are chasing a carriage containing Milady and D'Artagnan along a country road, an electric power substation can briefly be seen in the background. See more »

Quotes

D'Artagnan: She's a walking post office.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Three Musketeers (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Chicken Soup (Plucking Song)
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Samuel Pokrass
Lyrics by Walter Bullock
Performed by The Ritz Brothers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great, if the songs were better and they had just killed the Ritz Brothers instead of insinuating them in this film!
8 August 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The Ritz Brothers are an acquired taste...like arsenic! Try as I might, every film I have seen these guys in I have thoroughly despised them. Now I read at least one review that liked this comedy(?) team, but I cannot stand them. I have reviewed quite a few films over the years by teams like the Marx Brothers, Olsen and Johnson, Wheeler and Woolsey, Abbott and Costello as well as the Three Stooges (all contemporaries of the Ritz's) and can say that for me, they are by far the least talented team of the era. Most of this is because unlike these other teams, there is no distinct personality for any of the three Ritz brothers. They all look pretty much the same and mug almost constantly for the camera. They also do not appear to have any talents other than acting goofy--not exactly a deep act! If you asked me which one was Harry or Jimmy, I certainly couldn't tell you--and I assume it's probably true for most people who have seen their films. So why, oh why, did they think to put these no-talents into Dumas' classic tale?! It's even more perplexing because the rest of the film is played so straight and the Ritz moments seem almost tacked on or an intrusion. I can only assume that studio chief Darryl Zanuck must have been insane at the time or under the influence!

Other than the Ritz's antics, the rest of the film an an odd melange. On one hand, the ever-competent Don Ameche stars as D'Artagnan was not a bad casting decision--he was handsome and could sing quite nicely. The film also looked very nice. However, someone must have really had it out for Ameche, as in addition to saddling him the with Ritz Brothers, many of the songs they gave him to sing (in particular the first one) were simply awful. The tunes weren't bad but the lyrics...uggh!!! My house needed fumigation after several of them!

What we have left are some decent actors trying to make the best of an untenable situation. They tried their best but the film simply was begging to be remade. My advice is to see the 1948 version with Gene Kelly or any of the more recent remakes, as they are head and shoulders above this 1939 mess--one of the few stinkers to come from this golden year in Hollywood.

Overall, a tedious mess. The only good in the film I can think of is that it led to a clever episode of "Leave it to Beaver". The Beaver was supposed to do a book report on "The Three Musketeers" and instead watched this film and based the report entirely on it! Not surprisingly, he got an F and learned his lesson! I do wonder what this movie would have been like with the Marx Brothers and their zaniness. Sure, at the time they were employed by a different studio (MGM), but they could have really given the film a needed infusion of anarchy and goofiness.

Not worth your time unless you are a 100% crazed movie freak (like me). Try ANY other version of the tale--it can't help but be better.


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