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Film / The Three Musketeers (1961)

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Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers) is a 1961 French swashbuckler film duology. It includes Première époque - Les Ferrets de la Reine (Part I - The Queen's Diamonds) and Seconde époque - La Vengeance de Milady (Part II - Milady's Revenge). It was directed by Bernard Borderie and based on the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas. Paul Misraki (Le Doulos) composed the soundtrack, and swordplay was overseen by master at arms Claude Carliez, who worked on many other French swashbuckler films.

The cast included Gérard Barray (Le Capitaine Fracasse) as D'Artagnan, Mylène Demongeot (Fantômas) as Milady de Winter, Perrette Pradier as Constance Bonacieux, Georges Descrières as Athos, Bernard Woringer as Porthos, Jacques Toja as Aramis, Daniel Sorano as Cardinal Richelieu, Guy Delorme as the Count of Rochefort, Françoise Christophe as Queen Anne of Austria and Guy Tréjean (Jo) as Louis XIII.


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This version of The Three Musketeers provides examples of:

    Tropes in both parts 
  • Adaptational Villainy: As with countless other adaptations, the Count of Rochefort gets this treatment, helping Milady in her revenge, never befriending D'Artagnan and ending up killed by him.
  • Adapted Out: Lord de Winter doesn't appear in this version.
  • Beard of Evil: The Count of Rochefort is bearded, and he's the Cardinal's dragon
  • Combat Pragmatist: D'Artagnan uses sudden side moves or jumps to make his enemies trip while fighting with rapiers. He also doesn't mind punching his way.
    • Towards the end of Première époque - Les Ferrets de la Reine, D'Artagnan bumps into Rochefort and it looks like it's gonna be a rematch Duel to the Death... but he really has no time to lose since he must bring the Queen's diamonds back to her, so he just distracts Rochefort and knocks him out, saving their rematch for the second film.
  • Death Glare: The default face expression of the Count of Rochefort. It was a trademark of actor and stuntman Guy Delorme.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Milady de Winter is a blonde Faux Affably Evil with an angel's face. Athos even invokes the trope with these very words.
  • Improvised Weapon: D'Artagnan spends about as much time fighting his enemies with whatever he can get his hands on as he does fighting with rapiers.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Sometimes, D'Artagnan taunts his enemies when fighting them.
  • Movie Multipack: Both movies were filmed together and released three weeks apart.
  • Race Against the Clock:
    • In Part I, D'Artagnan must bring the Queen's diamonds back to her so she can wear them at the great Echevins Ball the King throws. If she doesn't get them back in time, her infidelity will be proven and the French Crown will be weakened.
    • In Part II, D'Artagnan and the Musketeers have only a short amount of time to free Constance and chase Milady as their regiment is about to leave Paris to accompany King Louis XIII at the siege of La Rochelle. Those who won't show up at the call to arms will be executed.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment:
    • Constance Bonacieux hides a handkerchief with the initials of the Duke of Buckingham in her cleavage in order to deliver it to the Queen in Part I.
    • Milady does the same with a message of the Cardinal in Part II.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • In Part I, the Cardinal of Richelieu enforced an edict that outlaws duels, because they tend to reduce the number of French nobles. It was Truth in Television.
    • Richelieu again in Part II. He is at war with the Protestants of the port city of La Rochelle, besieging them, and the message of the Duke of Buckingham to the Queen could well be about English reinforcements to help La Rochelle. Richelieu's actions are driven by said war, and he wages it to serve the king's and kingdom's interests above all.

    Première époque - Les Ferrets de la Reine

  • Apologetic Attacker: Aramis asks for God's forgiveness on the spot after killing a guard of the Cardinal. He also apologizes later on after killing a hired goon.
  • Automaton Horses: D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis use the same horses to go from Paris to (presumably) a port on the Channel so they can embark for England, and back from said port to Paris. Travels over such distances in The Cavalier Years necessitated to change horses in specifically designed relay homes, because the first horses needed rest, feeding and change of horseshoes, especially for people who were in a hurry (which the musketeers obviously are in given the quest to bring the diamonds back).
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Chairs and pieces of tables are used during the fight in an inn while D'Artagnan and the three musketeers are on a mission to bring the Queen's diamonds back.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: How D'Artagnan expells the three guards of the Cardinal who tried to kidnap Constance Bonacieux, after defeating them.
  • No-Sell: A mook smashes a chair on Porthos' head, and he looks like he's about to fall... only to turn back and punch the mook.

    Seconde époque - La Vengeance de Milady

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Milady screams and denies wanting to kill Buckingham and D'Artagnan when she's at the mercy of Athos, who eventually kills her for her crimes.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The musketeers are last seen leaving Paris with their regiment, accompanying the king at the siege of La Rochelle.
  • Badass in Distress: D'Artagnan is outnumbered and kidnapped by the Cardinal's guards.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Athos shoots the sword Milady was holding (as she was about to kill an unconscious D'Artagnan) out of her hand with a flintlock pistol.
  • Blatant Lies: Milady's request to D'Artagnan, asking for his "protection", while she's just trying to lure him into a Honey Trap for her revenge.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Porthos uses a tree branch to fight the Cardinal's guards during the Final Battle.
  • Corrupt Church: The monks who serve Rochefort have no problem feasting and drinking, and gleefully talk about practicing torture.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The Fleur de Lis mark on Milady's shoulder, which means she's a former prostitute in this adaptation.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: There's a cut when Milady is executed by Athos, between the moment he lifts his sword and the moment she collapses.
  • Honey Trap: Milady's revenge involves seducing D'Artagnan.
  • Killed Offscreen: The Duke of Buckingham is assassinated offscreen by John Felton.
  • Lady in Red: Milady's second dress is red, with a nice cleavage.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Since they are True Companions with D'Artagnan, the Three Musketeers set out to save him after he's kidnapped.
  • Previously On…: The film opens on a recap of Part I, with the narrator recapitulating what happened in it over a montage of clips from it.
  • Revenge:
    • What Milady de Winter and Rochefort are out for after D'Artagnan thwarted their Evil Plan to humiliate the Queen in Première époque. Richelieu meanwhile takes a backseat while not preventing them from enacting their revenge, as he's busy dealing with the siege of La Rochelle.
    • Athos kills Milady eventually, as justice for the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham and the murder of Constance.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The title means Milady's Revenge.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The furious chase after Milady at the end qualifies for the musketeers.
  • Spiteful Spit: Rochefort spits in D'Artagnan's face as the latter is held prisoner.
  • That Man Is Dead: When Athos is confronting his former wife, Milady, she calls him "Comte de la Fère". To which he answers that his name is Athos now, and that she "killed" la Fère long ago.
  • Tone Shift: There's much less humor in this film than in the first, some named characters die and Milady's scenes are Hotter and Sexier (while staying as chaste as possible, this was 1960s French popular cinema after all).
  • Undying Loyalty: D'Artagnan is loyal to both the French Crown and Constance Bonacieux, which makes him refuse the Cardinal's offer to join his guards.
  • The Vamp: Milady, as an archetypal evil seductress.
  • With Us or Against Us: What the Cardinal tells to D'Artagnan when the latter refuses his offer to join his guards.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Athos ends up killing Milady.


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