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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The 3 Musketeers (1948) - Star of the month... Angela Lansbury

Lana Turner as the beautiful yet dangerous
Countess de Winter
'The Three Musketeers' is the 1948 Technicolor version of Alexandre Dumas' classic adventure novel. The film is directed by George Sidney and stars Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Angela Lansbury, Frank Morgan, Vincent Price, Keenan Wynn, John Sutton, Gig Young, Robert Coote and Reginald Owen.

Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne
D'Artagnan (played by Kelly) travels to Paris to join King Louis XIII's (played by Morgan) musketeers. The Musketeers are Athos (played by Heflin), Porthos (played by Young) and Aramis (played by Coote).  Along the way, he meets and falls for the beautiful Constance Bonacieux (played by Allyson), a confidante of Queen Anne (played by Lansbury), and the seductive yet dangerous femme fatale, Countess de Winter (played by Turner).

Did you know...

  • Louis Hayward had originally shown interest in playing the role of d'Artagnan
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was rumoured to star as d'Artagnan
  • William Powell was considered to play one of the three musketeers
  • This is Lana Turner's first film in colour
  • In order to appear as Lady de Winter, Lana Turner turned down a role in an unfinished film called 'Bedeviled'
  • Deborah Kerr turned down the role of Constance

Closing remarks

Hot from the success of 'The Pirate' (1948), MGM wasted no time in casting Gene Kelly in yet another swashbuckler. Although not a musical and no dancing, Kelly's strong dance training and athletic physique gives an agile yet graceful portrayal of d'Artagnan. An almost unrecognisable Frank Morgan does a great job as King Louis XIII, and Lana Turner plays the ultimate femme fatale.

While the film is best remembered for it's brilliant sword duel choreography, the photography and choreography of the duel along the water, reminds me very much of a duel from the Warner Bros. film 'Captain Blood' (1935) with Errol Flynn. Speaking of Flynn, I am surprised Warner Bros. had not already produced a version of 'The Three Musketeers' in the early 1940s, as I feel it would have been the perfect backdrop for yet another Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland film.

I have now seen the 1935, 1948, 1973 and 1993 film adaptations of 'The Three Musketeers', and of the four I would consider this to be the best and most entertaining version.


  1. This is one of my favorite versions, too!

  2. Hi Sue Sue, thank you for comment. Yes, this is a great adaptation of Dumas' brilliant novel. It also has a first rate cast with many of my favourites including Gene Kelly, Angela Lansbury, June Allyson, Lana Turner, Frank Morgan and Vincent Price.