[Luxus+ Magazine] The Three Musketeers: a French blockbuster full of flair

After nearly fifty years of relative silence, the Made in France cloak and dagger film is reborn from its ashes, thanks to Martin Bourboulon’s blockbuster The Three Musketeers. The treasures of our heritage are used here to serve the literary epic of Alexandre Dumas Père marvelously. This will reinforce the attractiveness of the filming locations, such as the Château de Fontainebleau and the city of Troyes.


The rebirth of the cloak-and-dagger film


After the modern but scripturally dubious American adaptations of Peter Hyams’ D’Artagnan (2001) and Paul W.S Anderson’s The Three Musketeers (2011) or the British BBC series The Musketeers (2014), French cinema deserved to have a say again in this masterpiece of national literature.


More generally, it was time for France to take possession of a film genre with a heritage value: the cloak-and-dagger film. A variation of the adventure film that made the very rich hours of French cinema, especially in the years 1950-1960, with the productions of André Hunebelle and Bernard Borderie. The cloak and dagger film, brought up to date by Hollywood, has since reached the top, whether it be the Star Wars saga and its lightsaber battles or the Pirate of the Caribbean saga. In five films, the latter saga incorporating fantasy elements cost $1.145 billion to produce. But it also earned $4.51 billion at the global box office, making it one of the most lucrative film franchises of all time.


In its initial version, the cloak-and-dagger film features period costumes, foil duels, and a chivalric spirit with a touch of comic impertinence, all set in real and mostly historical settings.


The Three Musketeers is among the most emblematic films of the genre. In serial form, published in 1844 in the magazine Le Siècle, the original novel has a sense of rhythm that has nothing to envy to our contemporary series. Whether in the way the author portrays his characters or skillfully uses flashbacks and plot twists, everything is done to keep the reader on the edge of his seat. Exceptionally popular, the story of these companions crossing swords to foil a plot that could overthrow the Crown and plunge the kingdom into war has been adapted to film thirty times since 1909.


But no version, according to moviegoers, has so far managed to dethrone George Sidney’s 1948 film with Gene Kelly as D’Artagnan and Lana Turner as Milady. However, with so much success, it is difficult to renew the idea through a 36th adaptation without distorting the rhythm of the original text.


© Poster of The Three Musketeers by George Sidney, 1948


For his adaptation, in two parts, director Martin Bourboulon has chosen to offer a great spectacle and to modernize the codes of the cloak and dagger film through visual elements from the Western and film noir.


One of the novel’s successes is its colorful characters full of flair, particularly its Gascon hero, once filmed as a charming boaster with unparalleled audacity and courage. The interpretation of François Civil shows, on the contrary, a D’Artagnan more voluntary and sensitive than laughing and boastful. At his side, we find a high-flying cast with Vincent Cassel (Athos), Pio Marmai (Porthos), Romain Duris (Aramis), Louis Garrel (Louis XIII), Eva Green (Milady de Winter), Vicky Krieps (Queen Anne D’Autriche), Lyna Khoudri (Constance Bonacieux) or Eric Ruf (Cardinal de Richelieu).


Click here to read the full article on Luxus Plus Magazine.


Featured photo : © The Three Musketeers by Martin Bourboulon © 2023 – Chapter 2 – PATHE FILMS – M6 FILMS


Picture of Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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