The Three Musketeers - Best Movie Adaptation?

edited June 2013 in Stuff to Watch
Dear friends,

What is, in your opinion, the best adaptation of Dumas's "The Three Musketeers" to the screen?

(I half-jokingly labeled this conversation "Stuff to Watch".)


  • How is this even a discussion? There is only one correct answer, the Oliver Reed/Michael York adaptation in the 70s. It has Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Lee, Spike Milligan and Charlton freakin' Heston.

    Anyone who says anything different is just having fun with you.
  • While I quite enjoyed The Musketeer (2001) for it's fresh take on the book, I'm with Richard on this one.
  • Hands down Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973), and The Four Musketeers (1974).
  • I concur with Richard, Wilhelm, and mcellis, it's the Lester version hands down. Screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser of Flashman fame, for dog's sake!
  • These good people are correct.
  • Michael York is the man!
  • I grew up with Tim Curry as Richelieu and now can't imagine anyone else in the role.
  • The Richard Lester movies, as Richard said. Charlton Heston over Tim Curry any day in the role of Richelieu. Michael York, Oliver Reed (who steals every scene he's in), Richard Chamberlain, Christopher Lee, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway. Great humor, swordplay, a much more authentic treatment of the era. Fantastic production. My favorite movies, hands down.

    A friend of mine knew the fight choreographer for those movies. Apparently Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee really knew their way around a sword, but Michael York almost killed someone in nearly every scene he appeared in.
  • You guys are craaaaazy, every last one of you, Douglas Fairbanks, 1921, the end, good night.
  • A great movie no doubt but I love the humor of the 1973 movie.
  • The Lester films were by far the most faithful adaptations.
    Other versions have their high points, though, like Tim Curry's Richelieu.
    The Man in the Iron Mask (a distant part of the Dumas-verse) had some great performances but twisted the plot out of all recognition.
    I keep feeling like I remember a manga version, too, but I can't find it online.
  • For the anime version, I guess it might be one of the following :
    ワンワン三銃士 :
    アニメ三銃士 :

  • You guys are craaaaazy, every last one of you, Douglas Fairbanks, 1921, the end, good night.
    <------- Thread Ends Here --------->
  • I saw the '73 one on TV when I was young and found it quite disturbing. '70s lighting, pacing and filming could be kind of gloomy, and then near the end some character I liked got knifed and killed in a very painful-looking way.

    The '93 version was a happy swashbuckling adventure, and I couldn't believe the two were ostensibly the same story.

    So I'd say apples & oranges, man.
  • Apparently Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee really knew their way around a sword, but Michael York almost killed someone in nearly every scene he appeared in.
    I've read something similar about Reed; he did indeed know his way around a sword, but the idea of stage-fighting seemed to be a little difficult for him to grasp and he'd often get so into it that he'd forget that he wasn't supposed to actually hit the other guy. Good with a sword and bad at remembering that it's not an actual fight is a dangerous and scary combination.
  • My overall understanding about Oliver Reed is that "dangerous and scary" was his modus operandi in all areas of life.
  • Amazon Prime allowed me to watch the 1973 version last night for NO ADDITIONAL COST! (Until June 30th...) I think I had only previously seen this in bits and pieces, broken up by commercials. I have to say, adult, paying-attention (although admittedly drinking beer) Me really dug it.
  • edited June 2013
    Whoa. The very first sentence on Reed's IMDB page reads "He was severely injured and almost died during the filming of The Three Musketeers when he was stabbed in the throat during the windmill duel scene." Didn't these people know how to use fake (or at least dull) blades?
  • I wouldn't be surprised if that was method acting on his part. He damn near stole every scene he was in, IMHO. Dangerous and scary indeed.

    I love Tim Curry, but the depiction of Richelieu as a devil-worshipping eeeevil dude was spot-off. The other bit I recall about the '93 movie was the Dauphin's speech at the end that essentially waxed poetic about the virtues of Democracy in the state that was the pinnacle example of pre-Enlightenment absolutist monarchy. *retch*
  • I've only seen bits and pieces of the 73 version as well. I will make time to watch it through.

    The 93 version has a lot going for it, though, and has long been a favorite movie of mine. Keifer's brooding Athos is excellent and captures the feel of the character from the book. Platt's Porthos is hilarious and definitely drawn straight from the original. Curry's Richelieu is way more over the top than the book, but the performance is amazing and fun. Sheen and O'Donnell don't bring the movie down, though they don't add as much as the others.

    But when I read (actually, listened to, it was too slow to read) the book, the part I really found fascinating was the bizzaro story told by Milady de Winter about her imprisonment. I think it's the part with John Felton (I just looked it up, and that's the part of her story that my slightly hazy memory matches up with best). I remember that part being really fascinating and worthy of a whole movie on it's own.
  • Agreed. Thanks for all the input, everyone. I like that there are versions from 1921 and from 1948 (with Gene Kelly!).

    How does one watch the '73 version for free on Amazon Prime? I'm not sure I can figure that out. I have an Amazon account, but I'm not sure I have an Amazon Prime account (the website suggests that there is a free trial available, however).
  • No love for the recent video-gamey version with the airships? *ducks*
  • How is the 2001 version? The stunts in the preview look impressive, but how is the acting/writing/plot/etc?
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