The hectic adventures of D'Artagnan (Gene Kelly), a young provincial noble who came to Paris to become a Musketeer. He will meet action, love, hate, King Louis XIII (Frank Morgan) and Queen Anne (Dame Angela Lansbury), as his impetuousness gets him involved in political plots... and of course, virile and indestructible friendship with the three Musketeers Athos (Van Heflin), Porthos (Gig Young), and Aramis (Robert Coote).Written by
Intelligent Version of Dumas's Classic Adventure starring Heflin, Price & Kelly
"The Three Musketeers" is unarguably an adventure film of great physical beauty and quite a bit of narrative power. It stands just after "The Best Years of Our lives" as one of the first Technicolor "A" films that broadened the palette used by filmmakers to include richness as well as, say, western or Arabian settings in adventure movies. To director George Sidney goes much of the credit for the film's swiftness of pace and attractive visual elements. With cinematography by Robert Planck, art direction by Malcolm Brown and the great Cedric Gibbons, elaborate set decorations by Edwin B, Willis and Henry Grace, and costumes by legendary Walter Plunkett, the film moves from rustic scenes to sumptuous interiors via scenes of swordplay that are often stunning. Add makeup by Jack Dawn, hair designs by Larry Germain and Sydney Guilaroff, sound by Douglas Shearer and Herbert Stothart's original music and use of Tschaikovsy themes--and the result I suggest is a quite satisfying viewing experience. But the plot has something more, perhaps, as well. The original Alexandre Dumas's (the father) storyline as treated by Robert Ardrey's screenplay comes out as an intelligent but somewhat satirical-cynical look at life in the France of the time of Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIII. In adopting an objective, light-hearted tone, similar to that in "North By Northwest', the producer Pandro S. Berman and the writers gain for the film the ability to do memorable comedy as well as occasionally far-more-serious scenes. What is lost in concentrated dramatic power is made up fin such an adventure if the actors are able to invest its goings on with the seriousness of their taking it seriously, bringing it to life professionally. I suggest that in the lavish production, this level of artistry was almost everywhere achieved. The large cast features such attractive artists as Angela Lansbury as the Queen, John Sutton as Buckingham, June Allyson very-well-used as Constance, Robert Warwick as D'Artagnan's father, Keenan Wynn as Planchet the servant, Reginald Owen and Ian Keith, Patricia Medina and Richard Wyler. In featured roles, one can enjoy stellar work by Robert Coote as Aramis, Gig Young as Porthos, Frank Morgan as the King and Gene Kelly as an athletic and often lyrical D'Artagnan. But the acting honors in the film belong to actor worthies Van Helfin, who dominates in the role of the hard-drinking Athos and Vincent Price, who makes immense amounts out of what he is allowed to do as an understated Richelieu. The curious casting is that of attractive Lana Turner as Lady De Winter; she is not capable yet of classical work, but she suggests some of her part's potential depths. This famous story of the young Gascon joining the three best swordsmen in France and learning more about life than he had bargained for is here given as much power perhaps as it can handle; and rich scenes of sword battles, interpersonal misunderstandings and a sense of controlled importance makes, I suggest, the story's dark moments memorable and the fun more important than it might have been. I find this to be a masterly understatement of a truly classic adventure.
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