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The Three Musketeers



The movie draws on the same sources as the several earlier versions of the story. We learn that the musketeers are sworn to defend the king, and that the evil Cardinal Richelieu has disbanded them as part of his evil scheme to grab control of France. But three musketeers refuse to lay down their colors and retire. Their names, as schoolboys used to know, are Aramis (Charlie Sheen), Athos (Kiefer Sutherland) and Porthos (Oliver Platt). And to their number is added a fourth volunteer, the eager young D'Artagnan, played by Chris O'Donnell (warm from his success as a different kind of apprentice in "Scent Of A Woman").




The Three Musketeers



All I can testify is, I didn't much care. The movie was behavior, not acting. Nobody on either side of the camera seemed to take the story and characters seriously. Yes, I know it's basically a comic adventure, but even so, look at the Bond pictures, which have the courage of their lack of conviction. Of the musketeers, the one who was convincing was Oliver Platt's Porthos. The others, who can all be fine actors in the right role, didn't seem comfortable in the period, the costumes, the action, or the story.


Parents need to know that this Disney cartoon involves a major villain and his four sidekicks who battle against the three classic characters of Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. The movie is packed with cartoon violence, including fist fights, sword battles, and one scene where Mickey seems to die from drowning. At one point, when Goofy is on the verge of being thrown into the ocean to die, a shot of many skeletons under the water appears. An underlying theme is the romance between Princess Minnie and Mickey the Musketeer. In the end, each of the musketeers finds love and exchanges several exaggerated kisses with his partner. The female characters are pretty helpless, and the movie revolves around saving and kidnapping the princess and her lady-in-waiting.


Three young friends -- Mickey, Donald, and Goofy -- are destitute. After being protected from robbers by royal agents -- musketeers -- they dream of one day becoming like their heroes. Alas, they end up as janitors for the head of the musketeers, a nefarious fellow named Peg Leg Pete. He laughs at their dream of becoming soldiers, calling Donald a "coward," Goofy a "doofus," and Mickey "too small." But when Princess Minnie requests bodyguards, Pete decides to put the trio in charge of her protection, thinking that will make it easier to kidnap her in his attempt to become king. Much mayhem ensues, but the loyal and earnest trio perseveres, learning to be brave, use their brains, and help one another out. In the end, Pete's plan fails and the musketeers each find romance.


The Three Musketeers is a French adventure written and published in 1844 by Alexandre Dumas. It follows the story of a hero named D'Artagnan, who aspires to join the Musketeers of the Guard. When rejected, D'Artagnan meets three of the era's most notorious, skilled musketeers. D'Artagnan joins the musketeers on their adventures in the 1600s French Court, often falling into situations that offer commentary on the era's social, political, and economic injustices.


The 1844 novel has had widespread historical and cultural influence, sparking dialogue and dissent in nineteenth-century French citizens and continuing to be a tale of justice in the modern age. Therefore, adaptations of this story range from historical retellings of French musketeers to regaled tales of a group of friends fighting for justice. While these retellings of The Three Musketeers might look different, they all share common themes of brotherhood, heroism, justice, equality, and adventure.


D'Artagnan, a spirited young Gascon, is left for dead after trying to save a young woman from being kidnapped. When he arrives in Paris, he tries by all means to find his attackers. He is unaware that his quest will lead him to the heart of a real war where the future of France is at stake. Allied with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, three musketeers of the King with a dangerous temerity, D'Artagnan faces the dark machinations of the Cardinal of Richelieu. But it is when he falls madly in love with Constance Bonacieux, the Queen's confidante, that d'Artagnan truly puts himself in danger. For it is this passion that leads him into the wake of the one who becomes his mortal enemy: Milady de Winter.


Pathé has developed a reputation for both period adaptations and award-winning films. Jean-Jacques Annaud's L'Ours and Patrice Chereau's Queen Margot, two similar productions from Pathé, show a comparable scale and penchant for historical accuracy. Another notable credit to Pathé is CODA, a three-time Oscar-winning movie, ultimately winning Best Picture in 2022.


What is it about The Three Musketeers that continues to inspire each new generation of filmmakers? Of the many, many versions released, the best is probably a 1973 American adaptation helmed by Richard Lester (who originally sought the four Beatles to play d'Artagnan and the three musketeers). Lester's long, original cut of The Three Musketeers was eventually split into two films, with The Four Musketeers continuing the story a year later. They're far from perfect films, but taken as a whole, The Three/Four Musketeers is a reasonably faithful retelling of Dumas's original story.


But anyone interested in diving into the long, strange history of Three Musketeers adaptations can do better than a by-the-numbers blockbuster. Indeed, the most fascinating thing about cinema's long love affair with The Three Musketeers isn't the sheer number ofadaptations. It's the sheer breadth of them. Would you rather see d'Artagnan and company's story as a three-part Russian musical? You can. Or a version that stars Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy? Knock yourself out. What about a long-running cartoon series that transforms all the characters into anthropomorphic dogs? Allow me to introduce Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.


The list goes on and on, getting stranger and stranger. There's an episode of the Jonas Brothers' Jonas: L.A. built around a theatrical production ofThe Three Musketeers. And a recent direct-to-DVD version of the story stars none other than a creepily animated version of Mattel's Barbie, and makes the musketeers into Barbie-proportioned women (which somehow seems simultaneously pro and anti-feminist). 041b061a72


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