Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Three Musketeers (1961)

Go To

Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers) is a 1961 French swashbuckler film duology based on the eponymous novel by Alexandre Dumas. The story was divided in two films that were made back-to-back, 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 (of the Angelique film series fame), 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 including a previous version of the story.

The cast included Gérard Barray (Le Capitaine Fracasse) as D'Artagnan, Mylène Demongeot 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, Jean Carmet as Planchet, Françoise Christophe as Queen Anne of Austria and Guy Tréjean as King Louis XIII.

    open/close all folders 

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
  • Casting Gag: Both Georges Descrières (Athos) and Daniel Sorano (Richelieu) had played in a Three Musketeers adaptations before, the 1959 French TV film, as Lord de Winter and Porthos respectively.
  • 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.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The script was written so as to not feature the siege of La Rochelle, for which the heroes depart at the end instead.
  • Death Glare: The default face expression of the Count of Rochefort. It was a trademark of actor and stuntman Guy Delorme.
  • Divided for Adaptation: The second theatrical adaptation of the novel in two parts after the 1932 one. The 1973 and 2023 ones would follow.
  • 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.
    • Porthos fights the Cardinal's guards with a tree branch in the climax of the second film.
  • 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 considering the urgency of 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.
  • The Quest: D'Artagnan & co must go to England to seek the Queen's diamonds and bring them back to her before the Echevins Ball or her affair with the Duke of Buckingham will be exposed and she will be dishonored.

    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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Milady's Evil Plan is thwarted, she's dead and so is Rochefort, but so is D'Artagnan's Love Interest Constance Bonacieux..
  • 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 wheellock 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.
  • Blindfolded Trip: D'Artagnan is blindfolded while being brought to Milady's castle.
  • 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.
  • Death by Adaptation: As with many other adaptations, Rochefort gets killed by D'Artagnan, while this doesn't happen in the novel (it happens in the following one Twenty Years After).
  • 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 very 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).
  • Touché: At the end, the Cardinal sends a sign of the hand to the Musketeers as they show up on time at the call to arms, after also receiving the news of the death of both Milady and Rochefort. Judging by his body language, that means he grudgingly admits the Musketeers won this time. But now they're being sent on assignment to the siege of La Rochelle, so they're part of other plans of his anyway.
  • 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.