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Film / d'Artagnan And Three Musketeers

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d'Artagnan And Three Musketeers ((Russian: Д'Артаньян и три мушкетёра, D'Artanyan i tri mushketyora) is a 1978 Soviet miniseries and one of the many, many adaptations of the Alexandre Dumas novel The Three Musketeers. This particular version, however, is the most well-known and definitely the most iconic in the former Soviet Union. Executed as a low-budget semi-musical, with most of its songs becoming national classics, it consists of three episodes making 220 minutes in length in total — a common practice in the country at that time.

The four lead actors — Mikhail Boyarsky as d'Artagnan, Veniamin Smekhov as Athos, Valentin Smirnitsky as Porthos and Igor Starygin as Aramis — became famous overnight in the Union after the movie's release, and "playing musketeers" quickly became one of the favorite pastimes of Soviet kids. They remained good friends after the filming, and were so enthusiastic about the project that they often assumed their character identities even off stage — for example, when heading out to local bars in Odessa, having no time to take off their musketeer costumes because of the tight filming schedule.

The four later reprised their roles in three sequels, filmed in Russia after the end of the Soviet Union: two based on Dumas' sequels to the novel (Musketeers Twenty Years After, 1992, and The Secret of Queen Anne or Musketeers Thirty Years After, 1993), and a fourth one in 2009, of which the less is said, the better.

Provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Jussac is an episodic character in the book but becomes a recurring antagonist for the heroes (though not the Big Bad) by replacing several other minor antagonists. His actor was actually a Soviet fencing champion who trained the rest of the cast in swordfighting, so the production put his skills to the best use.
  • Badass Fingersnap: The Queen has a penchant for snapping her fingers, which hints at her Spanish heritage (finger-snapping is used in Flamenco dancing to accompany the music). The scene in which she snaps her fingers to attract d'Artagnan's attention became one of the most iconic in the whole movie.
  • Bar Brawl: Several.
  • Big Damn Heroes / The Cavalry: When d'Artagnan arrives to the royal palace with the diamonds, he fights the hordes of the Cardinal's guards but is ultimately overpowered. And then the three musketeers ride in to save the day.
  • Chess Motif: During d'Artagnan's audience with the Cardinal they play chess. Richelieu praises d'Artagnan for stalemating.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Madlen in the sequel, full stop.
  • Composite Character: Lord Winter is removed from the movie, and Felton assumes his role.
    • Jussac who besides his book counterpart filfulls the roles of Comte de Wardes and a couple of characters from the sequel.
    • Madame de Chevreuse from Twenty Years After is a composite of her book counterpart and Madame de Longueville.
  • Crash-Into Hello:
    La Chesnaye: First part of the Ballet of La Merlaison!
    [everyone dances]
    La Chesnaye: Second part of the Ballet of La Merlaison!
    [d'Artagnan, hurrying to return the queen's diamond studs, runs from offscreen and falls onto him]
  • Disproportionate Retribution / Evil Is Petty: As the result of Compressed Adaptation, Milady's only reason for trying to murder d'Artagnan and murdering Constance Bonacieux is d'Artagnan upstaging her with the queen's diamonds.
  • Distressed Dude: Raoul is turned into this in Musketeers Twenty Years After.
  • Easy Evangelism: Apparently the woman he was sent to kill claiming to be of one faith with him is enough to convince Felton to turn against his master and kill HIM instead. In the book it takes days of careful and well-thought manipulation on Milady's part to convert him to her side. In the movie she pulls it off in minutes of one emotional scene.
  • Gratuitous French: In the songs ("Paris needs money, c'est la vie"). Averted in regular dialogue, even though the setting just begged for it.
  • I Have Many Names: Pointed out by Athos in a line absent from the book.
    Athos: Anne de Breuil, Lady Clarick, Charlotte Backson, Baroness of Sheffield, Comtesse de La Fère, Lady Winter. See — there are so many of you, and so few of me.
  • Live-Action Adaptation
  • Lost in Imitation: The Queen's habit of snapping her fingers, which was not present in the original novel, became so iconic among the fans of the movie that it made it even into the 2013 Russian film The Three Musketeers.
  • Mooks: The Cardinal's Guard.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Milady claims this was the reason she poisoned Constance. Wierdly enough this scene is absent from the book even though the romantic plot between d'Artagnan and Milady was cut out from the movie.
  • The Musical
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Many of the less plot-important scenes from the novel were removed to make the whole story fit into 220 minutes. (And to make room for the songs.)
  • Spared By Adaptation: Mordaunt in Musketeers Twenty Years After... sort of. He does die, but much later in the story.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Both the Queen and her maid try using this to conceal the letters the Queen had written to her secret lover. It never works.