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The Three Musketeers (1948)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 20 October 1948 (USA)
D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades thwart the plans of Royal Prime Minister Richelieu to usurp the King's power.

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(novel) (as Alexandre Dumas), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Robert Coote ...
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Richard Wyler ...
Albert (as Richard Stapley)
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Storyline

The hectic adventures of D'Artagnan, a young provincial noble who just comes to Paris to enter the musketeers. He will meet action, love, hate, the king and the queen as his impetuousness gets him involved in political plots... and of course virile and indestructible friendship with the three musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE COMPLETE ROMANCE...THE FULL NOVEL! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,474,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fearing pressure from church groups, MGM had the script refer to Richelieu as Prime Minister rather than Cardinal and almost all traces of him being a cardinal or a man of the church at all have been removed, even though other versions of this story kept Richelieu explicitly a cardinal without any repercussions. See more »

Goofs

During the first sword fight, Athos warns Porthos of a guardsman approaching from behind, Porthos turns around and engages him and ends it with a sword thrust. But the sword is clearly thrust between the guardsman's body and left arm, touching only a part of his clothing, although they close quickly to hide the fact. See more »

Quotes

D'Artagnan: Porthos, when did a wound ever come between you and a fight?
Porthos: [lying on his stomach] Well, unfortunately the position of this one comes between me and my horse.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Three Musketeers (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly successful Dumas rewrite
1 June 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews



The true test of a filmed version of a famous novel is not how close the action is to the plot of the book - it's whether it's faithful to the spirit of the original, and above all, whether it *works*. I didn't think casting Gene Kelly as a non-singing, non-dancing D'Artagnan would work: it does. I didn't think censoring the religious references to suit the US market would work - it does. I didn't think this could possibly rival the 1974 Lester/Macdonald Fraser version... well, I'm still not sure about that one, but it's an unexpectedly close call.

Without any question, the outstanding performance in this film is that of Gene Kelly. His athleticism, unsurprisingly, is marvellous, his swordplay is dazzling - but most importantly, as an actor his characterization of the impetuous, susceptible, hot-headed but good-hearted young Gascon is spot on the mark. He plays the part with a humour and charm that leave us likewise loving and laughing in his wake, and the only character with a chance of upstaging him is that truly preposterous yellow horse... a piece of type-casting if ever I saw one!

Perhaps the most disappointing performance, in contrast, is Van Heflin as Athos, the high-minded musketeer who drinks to find oblivion from a dark secret in his past. This Athos is a sullen peasant rather than a tragic nobleman, perhaps because the scriptwriters chose to demote him from Comte to Baron de la Fere. He has none of the charisma that should have been brought to the part, and it's often hard to understand why his three companions put up with him.

The fight scenes are excellently staged, as is to be expected in a precursor of 'Scaramouche', but I personally did feel that they went on for a little too long. Likewise, Anne of Austria was wonderfully imperious, but not as beautiful as the legend would have her. Constance Bonancieux, by contrast, gets a much larger part in this version than in Dumas' novel - and a somewhat less sleazy relationship with the young lodger - and makes the most of it.

The pivotal change in the plot during Milady's stay in England features Constance to a large extent, and is in my opinion actually very effective. The fact that even those of us who know the source material inside out have no idea *how* the inevitable is going to happen increases the tension enormously, and the change of emphasis to the relationship between the two women, rather than the seductive act we have seen several times before, gives both actresses a fresh chance to shine.

Richelieu, shorn of his Cardinal's title to avoid Church offence, has relatively little to do in this version, and D'Artagnan's nemesis Rochefort barely appears at all, though both actors make the most of what screen time they have. There is an effective scene at the end (again, owing nothing to Dumas) where Richelieu reminds the King of his dominion as the power behind the throne, only to save face in a graceful manoeuvre as Louis XIII temporarily asserts himself: we are quite certain that the King will soon be back under his thumb.

Overall, I was very impressed by the way in which this film captured the roistering, sometimes raucous, sometimes melodramatic spirit of its source material. Reading other people's comments about the silent version starring Douglas Fairbanks, I only wish I were likely to get the chance to see that as well!














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