THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1948) C 126m dir: George Sidney
w/Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Angela Lansbury, Frank Morgan, Vincent Price, Keenan Wynn, John Sutton, Gig Young, Robert Coote
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "The Three Musketeers is a swaggering, tongue-in-cheek treatment of picturesque fiction, extravagantly presented.
"The fanciful tale is launched with a laugh, and quickly swings into some colorful and exciting sword duels as the pace is set for the imaginative adventures that feature the lives and loves of D'Artagnan and his three cronies. It is the complete Dumas novel.
"There are acrobatics by Gene Kelly that would give Douglas Fairbanks pause. His first duel with Richelieu's cohorts is almost ballet, yet never loses the feeling of swaggering swordplay. It is a masterful mixture of ballet grace, acro-agility and sly horseplay of sock comedic punch.
"Lana Turner is a perfect visualization of the sexy, wicked Lady de Winter, sharply contrasting with the sweet charm of June Allyson as the maid Constance. The three king's musketeers of the title are dashingly portrayed by Van Heflin, Gig Young and Robert Coote as Athos, Porthos and Aramis. They belt over their parts in keeping with the style Kelly uses for D'Artagnan.
"Another aid in making the film top commercial entertainment is the telling score by Herbert Stothart, using themes by Tchaikovsky. Score bridges any gap in movement without intruding itself."
From The Movie Guide: "THE THREE MUSKETEERS is a rollicking version of the oft-filmed Dumas classic, with Gene Kelly playing the role of D'Artagnan with great panache. The film opens as D'Artagnan leaves his country home for Paris, to join the famed Musketeers. He proves his ability in a duel with Athos (Van Heflin) and adopts the 'one for all and all for one' motto, joining the Musketeers in serving King Louis XIII (Frank Morgan). Prime Minister Richelieu (Vincent Price) plots to end the king's reign, enlisting Louis's mistress, Lady de Winter (Lana Turner), in his evil scheme. The Musketeers, however, are not about to let that happen.
"Kelly is a sheer delight, attacking the swashbuckling story with enormous zest. His acrobatics are a sight to behold, a marvelous extension of his much loved dancing skills. This was Kelly's favorite role in his nonmusical films, and he had hoped his performance here would convince MGM to let him do a musical version of 'Cyrano de Bergerac.' Alas, it didn't. The supporting cast is marvelous, especially Morgan in a wonderful portrayal of King Louis XIII."
THE THREE MUSKETEERS was nominated for an Oscar for Best Color Cinematography (Robert Planck).