“Three Musketeers” (1948) – Gene Kelly, Lana Turner, June Allyson
Athos (Van Heflin): “To die among friends. Can a man ask more? Can the world offer less? Who wants to live ’till the last bottle is empty? It’s all-for one, d’Artagnan, and one for all.”
“Three Musketeers” (1948) is a star studded MGM adaptation of the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The cast reads like a who’s who of grade ‘A’ stars from that era: Lana Turner as Lady de Winter, Gene Kelly as d’Artagnan, June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux, Van Heflin as Athos, Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne, Frank Morgan as King Louis XIII, Vincent Price as Cardinal Richelieu, Keenan Wynn as Planchet, John Sutton as the Duke of Buckingham, Gig Young as Porthos, Robert Coote as Aramis, Reginald Owen as Treville, Ian Keith as Rochefort (Richelieu’s chief henchman), Patricia Medina as Kitty (Lady de Winter’s maid), and Richard Stapley as Albert.
Gene Kelly, in a non-singing non-dancing role, is very good as D’Artagnan, as he shows off his athletism with amazing action and swordplay sequences and even though he has many serious scenes, Kelly’s personality shows as he is able to bring humor into his role when needed. Lana Turner is also very good as the beautiful but cold and deadly Lady de Winter. In this version, Constance Bonacieux is the goddaughter of D’Artagan’s landlord and she is beautifully portrayed by June Allyson. Allyson’s and Turner’s scenes together towards the end of the movie are very suspenseful and tragic, and are among the movie’s best. Vincent Price is well cast as the strong Cardinal Richelieu and convincingly delivers one of the best lines in the movie as he whispers in the king’s ear, “I am the State your Majesty. I am France!” The acting by the rest of the cast is also well done!
Filmed in technicolor and directed by George Sidney, the movie is fast paced, with expert action scenes and great swordplay. Energetic, romantic, humorous, tragic, and suspenseful, this adaptation of “Three Musketeers” is one of the best ever done.