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Film: The Three Musketeers (1993)
The Three Musketeers is a 1993 film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and very loosely based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It stars Chris O'Donnell as D'Artagnan, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt as the three Musketeers, Tim Curry as the villainous Cardinal Richelieu, and Rebecca De Mornay as Milady de Winter.

D'Artagnan is on his quest to becoming a Musketeer. During his quest he joins the three titular Musketeers in their own quest to stop a plot against the young King. This adaptation greatly simplifies and alters the story.

The relationship between Athos and Anti-Villain Milady de Winter is altered to make the two characters more sympathetic.


This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Milady's real name is changed from Anne to Sabine. Though in the book "Anne" was probably also an alias.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Duke of Buckingham, while still technically an enemy of France, is an honorable man in the original book.
    • Richelieu is far more villainous than the Well-Intentioned Extremist Anti-Villain he was in the book, not to mention history.
    • Rochefort, The Dragon, gets no major development, and is killed off at the end of the film. This is despite his starting off as a Worthy Opponent who experiences Defeat Means Friendship. He is killed in the second novel by D'Artagnan, but on accident, with some mourning afterwards.
    • Inverted with Milady, who was more villainous and less sympathetic than she is in the movie. She helps the Musketeers by giving them the information they need to save the king.
  • Ancestral Weapon: D'Artagnan's sword belonged to his father. Part of his quest is getting it back from Rochefort.
  • Award Bait Song: "All For Love", sung by Rod Stewart, Sting and Bryan Adams, who co-wrote it.
  • Beta Couple: In an odd way, the king and queen act as this when compared to her lady-in-waiting Constance and D'Artagnan.
  • Book Safe: Aramis (who trained to be a priest) at one point pulls a pistol out of a hollowed-out Bible and shoots one of the Cardinal's guards with it.
  • Badass Creed: "All for one and one for all!"
  • Band of Brothers: Their Badass Creed is more than just a creed. It's their very lives.
  • Berserk Button: Do not diss D'Artagnan's father. Do NOT diss D'Artagnan's father.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Milady throws herself off the cliff instead of being beheaded.
  • Blondes are Evil: Milady de Winter.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Porthos, the Pirate.
  • Brick Joke:
    • "The axe was a gift to me from the Czarina of Tokyo."
    • Also from Porthos: "Told you I was famous."
  • Burning the Flag: As the Musketeer corps is disbanded and the Cardinal's guards ask what to do with the Musketeer flag, Rouchefort tells his men to burn it.
  • California Doubling: Austria plays France.
  • Camp Gay: Girard, who even Screams Like a Little Girl.
  • The Cavalry: The other Musketeers in the final act.
  • The Chessmaster: Cardinal Richelieu, of course.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: The king is portrayed this way (as well as something of a Wide-Eyed Idealist), easily manipulated by Richelieu because of his piety and having to turn to his equally young though much more savvy queen for assistance in navigating the murky political waters of the court. There are indications he isn't quite as naive as he seems and is aware of the manipulations going on, but he still seems fairly helpless and uncertain how to escape them and become an assertive king until he is bolstered by the queen's advice (and inspired by the examples of the Musketeers and D'Artagnan).
  • Clean Cut: When Richelieu dispatches Rochefort to take care of the Three Musketeers, Rochefort slashes his sword across the top of a candelabra. The candles are undisturbed until, one by one, Rochefort nudges the cleanly-severed tops of the candles off, each accompanied by the names of his enemies.
  • Crash into Hello: This is how d'Artagnan first meets Athos and Porthos, resulting in him being challenged to two duels.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Rochefort is killed in a climatic duel with d'Artagnan. In the original book he survives to be fought and killed in one of the sequels.
    • D'Artagnan's father is alive in the book.
  • Demoted to Extra: Constance has hardly any screentime, and basically only exists to throw D'Artagnan his sword at the end.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • D'Artagnan fights one of the Cardinal's men on top of some ruins, and knocks him off to his death.
    • Lady De Winter, the femme fatale, chooses to fling herself off a cliff rather than suffer a beheading.
    • Later in the film D'Artganan surprises the King's assassin on the palace roof, and the fight ends with the assassin getting a crossbow bolt to the heart and falling to the ground below.
    • Averted with Rochefort's death; he is clearly stabbed and dies in full view of the audience.
  • The Dragon: Rochefort to Richelieu.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • D'Artagnan comes to Paris to join the Musketeers...right as they are being disbanded by order of Richelieu.
    • D'Artagnan, after overhearing of the assassination plot with the Duke of Buckingham, rushes off to warn the other Musketeers and the King, only to collapse from exhaustion on the road and is rescued by Milady de Winter. He then tells her everything he overheard to obtain her help in stopping the horrible scheme...completely unaware, thanks to the hooded cloak the courier had worn when meeting with Richelieu, that she was the courier.
  • Fanservice: The D'Artagnan/DeWinter scene is shot with the emphasis on Chris O'Donnell's shirtless chest for the girls/moms and Rebecca DeMornay's cleavage for the boys/dads.
  • Flynning: Pretty much every fight, but Platt and Wincott above all others.
  • Follow the Leader: This movie was made only two years after Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and some similarities can be drawn. A lot of Artistic License is taken with the source material and history, and there is the same updated-for-the-90s sensibility. Tim Curry subs in for Alan Rickman for resident hilarious hammy baddie, and Michael Wincott (formerly Guy of Gisbourne) returns as the top henchman. Finally, Bryan Adams is back for the Award Bait Song (co-written by Michael Kamen, who scored both movies).
  • Freudian Threat: When Cardinal Richelieu starts making advances on Lady DeWinter she pulls a knife and holds it to his crotch. Richelieu warns that he can have her executed with "a snap of [his] fingers" to which she replies, "And with a flick of my wrist I could change your religion"; he laughs and backs off.
  • Giant Mook: The deformed guard the Three Musketeers fight in the dungeons when pursuing the fleeing Richelieu.
  • Give Me a Sword: How D'Artagnan wins his fight against Rochefort, when Constance slides it to him.
  • Global Ignorance: Porthos claims certain items were gifts from non-existent royalty (sash from the "Queen of America", an axe from the "Czarina of Tokyo"....).
  • Graceful Loser: Oddly enough, Rochefort accepts his death, admitting that he was wrong about D'Artagnan not being musketeer material.
  • I Like Those Odds: The Musketeers comment amongst themselves that five soldiers against the three of them is hardly fair. D'Artagnan, Completely Missing the Point, tries to point out that there's four of them.
    Porthos: Five of them, three of us. hardly seems fair.
    Aramis: Maybe we should give them a chance to surrender
  • Ironic Echo: Richelieu, during one of his more smarmy scenes, echoes (but twists) the Musketeers' Badass Creed: "All for one...and more for me!" Used in many a trailer.
  • Land in the Saddle: Done early in the film, as part of a chase scene. It also included the stock parody of one of the characters missing the horse.
  • Large Ham:
    • The Cardinal, but since Tim Curry plays him, it's to be expected.
    • Oliver Platt as Porthos. Like Tim Curry, he seems to be there just for the fun of Chewing the Scenery.
  • Leave Him to Me: Rochefort says "He's mine!" to his Cardinal's Guard troops before charging D'Artagnan.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: "Love? Let me tell you about love."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: With the exception of Kiefer Sutherland, nobody bothers to pronounce "D'Artagnan" the French way. Especially jarring because Kiefer insists on doing so anyway.
  • Obviously Evil: The Cardinal is played by Tim Curry. Enough said really.
  • Off with Her Head!: What almost happened to de Winter before Athos stopped it. But she kills herself anyway, after revealing the Cardinal's plan.
  • Oh Crap: In the final scene, Girad again tries to demand satisfaction from D'Artagnan, only to realize he's made a de facto challenge to the entire musketeer corps.
  • Pocket Protector: Aramis is shot, but his crucifix stops the bullet. From this he quips, "See? There is a God!"
  • Redemption Equals Death: Milady
  • Red Shirt Army: One of the most literal examples of this trope with the Cardinal's guards.
  • Running Gag: Girard and his men, pursuing D'Artagnan to defend the honor of his sister.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When the king ventures to confront Cardinal Richelieu about the rumors of his betrayal, the Cardinal sarcastically rattles off the entire list of his misdeeds and treacherous plans, spicing it up with "more festive variations" involving teaching pigs to dance and horses to fly, and hiding the moon in his robes. The king's misgivings are thus (temporarily) disarmed.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: When the three guys that have been looking to fight D'Artagnan throughout the movie finally confront him at the end of the film, they suddenly scream and run away, because the entire Musketeer corp comes to back D'Artagnan and starts chasing the three guys.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Constance dies less.
  • There Is a God!: Aramis says "See? There is a God," after The Reveal that his cross stopped the Cardinal's bullet and saved his life.
  • Those Two Guys: Porthos and Aramis are this in the movie. While Athos is dark and broody, they're much more snarky, and their roles are more comic-relief than plot-important.
  • The Unreveal: We're never told exactly why Aramis went from being one of the Cardinal's students to having a vendetta against him.
  • You Killed My Father: D'Artagnan to Rochefort.
  • You Remind Me of X: "You, boy, are arrogant, hot-tempered, and entirely too bold. I like that, you remind me of me."

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