The Three Musketeers (1961 film)

The Three Musketeers

Semur-en-Auxois, one of the locations
Directed by Bernard Borderie
Produced by Films Borderie
Les Films Modernes
Le Film d'Art
Fono Roma
Written by Bernard Borderie et
Jean-Bernard Luc [1]
Based on The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas père
Starring Gérard Barray
Mylène Demongeot
Perrette Pradier
Georges Descrières
Music by Paul Misraki
Cinematography Armand Thirard
Edited by Christian Gaudin
Distributed by Pathé Distribution
Release dates
  • November 4, 1961 (1961-11-04) (France)
Running time
186 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office 4,471,861 admissions (France)[2]

The Three Musketeers is a 1961 film adaptation of the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père which consists of two parts.[3] The script keeps close to the classic French novel. The director treats all the classic characters with respect, not making fun of any of them, although there is humour when d'Artagnan rides his peculiar horse and when Planchet supplies wine for the heroes.

The film's remarkable location shots were made in Bois de Boulogne, around and in the Château de Guermantes in Seine-et-Marne and in Semur-en-Auxois (department Côte-d'Or).

The settings, costumes and props are very elaborate and provide the impression of historic accuracy.[4] Bernard Borderie and his crew demonstrated here already the qualities which later contributed substantially to the success of his series of five costume drama films about Anne Golon's heroine Angelique. Since Bernard Borderie had already made several Lemmy Caution films he was an expert for fighting scenes. In comparison to the likewise brilliant fencing the dancer Gene Kelly (An American in Paris, Xanadu) had provided as “d'Artagnan” in an earlier adaptation, the fencing in this film looks less like dancing and more dangerous. But of course Borderie also knew how to present a fist fight. When d'Artagnan defends Mme Bonacieux against a couple of the cardinal's thugs, the director does not only use dramatic sound effects but furthermore lets Barray's punches look more explosive by taking out frames very precisely when he is about to hit. He is also capable of making us believe an outnumbered man could really win the day if only certain circumstances are given, because in Borderie's films the thugs are often so overly keen on decking the hero that they actually hinder each other to succeed.



The film was the sixth most popular movie at the French box office in 1961.[2]


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