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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Three Musketeers (released in 1948) - Starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, based on the book

The Three Musketeers is a fantasy action film adapted from the Alexander Dumas's novel of the same name. Many versions of this tale has been tried out in Hollywood and has been the favorite period drama adapted by the film industry.
D'Artagnan is a superb swordsman who leaves for Paris to join the famous Musketeers and carry a recommendation letter to De Treville, the commander of the Musketeers. On his way he is assaulted by a lady's guard and his letter is also burnt. Artagnan reaches De Treville who recognizes the assailant and allows him to train for the esteemed position. While on the street Artagnan sees his assailant and tries to duel him enraging the Three musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Artagnan challenges them to a duel and while this happens Richelieu's men try to arrest them Artagnan joins forces with the Musketeers and foils the arrest. This act of valor earns him the respect of the musketeers who take him in to their fold.
That night a chance meeting with Constance Bonacieux, the lady in waiting for the queen Anne leaves Artagnan deeply in love. His feelings are reciprocated by Constance. But trouble is brewing as Queen Anne has a lover in the British Duke, Buckingham. King Louis XIII of France presents his wife Anne, a magnificent pair of earrings which she gives to Buckingham as a token of her love.

This exchange reaches the ear of the wicked Richelieu who plots the overthrow of the King. To precipitate the war between England and France to fulfill his nefarious designs he asks the King to have the queen wear the beautiful diamonds for the grand ball. A panic stricken Queen confides in Constance who enlist the support of the musketeers. But Richlieu sends a Femme fatale Milady de Winter to appropriate the jewel from Buckingham.
As the Musketeers battle Richelieu's men to reach the duke, de Winter gets the earrings. But Artagnan who reaches the goal makes a similar copy, thus helping the Queen to avoid a scandal. Richlieu again asks de Winter to seduce Artagnan to enlist him in his force. Athos reveals that de Winter is his evil wife who is a common murderess thus earning her wrath. Richelieu then kidnaps Constance to force Artagnan's hand. But the queen frees her and send her to Buckingham. De Winter reaches there and is promptly captured, but manages to murder Constance.
A heart broken Artagnan gets an incriminating letter delivered by de Winter to Buckingham in which Richelieu had asked for a partnership. He unmasks Richelieu during the grand ball and has him captured. He also captures de winter who begs for mercy and send her to the guillotine.
This movie has Gene Kelly playing the title role of de Artagnan and Lana Turner the femme fatale de Winter. This movie has June Allyson, John Sutton and Angela Lansbury in key roles. MGM to avoid a confrontation with the Roman Catholic Church, omitted the reference of Cardinal Richelieu from the movie. This movie is one of the successful movies of that year and is a good watch.

The Three Musketeers (released in 1948) - Starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, based on the book

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