A swashbuckling triumph, the Musketeers films directed in the early 1970s really show Richard Lester’s versatility as a director and have been admired by everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Steven Soderberg.
In 17th Century Paris, young, naïve and energetic D’Artagnan (Michael York, Cabaret, Murder on the Orient Express) leaves home to seek his fortune as a swordsman. Making friends with the three musketeers: world-weary Athos (Oliver Reed, Women in Love, Oliver!), comically arrogant Porthos (Frank Finlay, Casanova, The Comedy Man) and chivalric Aramis (Richard Chamberlain, The Thorn Birds, King Solomon’s Mines), he is invited to join them in their efforts to thwart the aristocratic schemer Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston, The Agony and the Ecstasy, El Cid). Richelieu plots to prove the infidelity of the Queen (Geraldine Chaplin, Doctor Zhivago, Talk to Her) to King Louis XIII (Jean-Pierre Cassel, Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Murder on the Orient Express) in order to increase his own power…. Whilst attempting to foil the Cardinal’s plans, D’Artagnan finds himself also juggling affairs with both the charming Constance Bonancieux (Raquel Welch, One Million Years BC, She) as well as the passionate Milady De Winter (Faye Dunaway, Chinatown, Bonnie & Clyde), a secret agent for the Cardinal….
Originally conceived as a vehicle for The Beatles, it was ultimately decided that the Fab Four‘s personalities risked overshadowing the characters and the idea was shelved. Throughout production, Richard Lester insisted on secrecy from cast and crew for fear that his ideas may be stolen by any of the four other adaptations of the book that were also in production at the time. However, the film was both a critical and commercial hit on release and garnered Raquel Welch a Best Actress Golden Globe.
Written by George MacDonald Fraser, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas
Music by Michel Legrand
For the 2023 restoration of The Three Musketeers, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned and restored in 4K to produce a brand new UHD-HDR master