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The Three Musketeers (1948)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 20 October 1948 (USA)
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D'Artagnan (Gene Kelly) and his Musketeer comrades thwart the plans of Cardinal Richelieu (Vincent Price) to usurp King Louis XIII's (Frank Morgan's) power.

Director:

George Sidney

Writers:

Alexandre Dumas (novel), Robert Ardrey (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lana Turner ... Lady de Winter
Gene Kelly ... D'Artagnan
June Allyson ... Constance
Van Heflin ... Athos
Angela Lansbury ... Queen Anne
Frank Morgan ... King Louis XIII
Vincent Price ... Richelieu
Keenan Wynn ... Planchet
John Sutton ... The Duke of Buckingham
Gig Young ... Porthos
Robert Coote ... Aramis
Reginald Owen ... Treville
Ian Keith ... Rochefort
Patricia Medina ... Kitty
Richard Wyler ... Albert (as Richard Stapley)
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Storyline

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 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,474,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel, Constance was the wife, not the goddaughter of D'Artagnan's landlord. By 1948 standards, a hero like D'Artagnan would never dally with a married woman. 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

Lady de Winter: But, your grace, how can you trust me with such a confidence? What if I refuse to go to England?
Richelieu: Can there be anybody more trustworthy, milady, than an ambitious woman of fashion... with a history?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Glamour à Hollywood par George Sidney (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly successful Dumas rewrite
1 June 2003 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee 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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