In no other role is Douglas Fairbanks's boyish vigor as irresistibly engaging than as D'Artagnan in Fred Niblo's The Three Musketeers
. "When Alexandre Dumas sat down at his desk," wrote Life
magazine critic Robert E. Sherwood, "he doubtless had but one object in view: to provide a suitable story for Douglas Fairbanks to act in the movies."
D'Artagnan is a naive and ambitious farm boy who yearns to join the Musketeers, the elite regiment of guards under King Louis XIII (Adolphe Menjou). Riding into 1625 Paris on the back of a weathered plowhorse, the young rapscallion quickly wins the respect and friendship of the Musketeers' most valiant trio in a breathtaking display of acrobatic swordsmanship. When Queen Anne (Mary McLaren) is maneuvered into a political scandal by the devious Cardinal Richelieu (Nigel De Brulier), D'Artagnan and his bons hommes embark on a treacherous race across France, to England and back to regain a precious brooch that will save the queen's honor and the future of their nation.
More than a thrilling adventure picture, The Three Musketeers is a handsomely-produced, emotionally sensitive telling of Dumas' classic novel, buoyed by Fairbanks's electrifying presence. According to Sherwood it is "one of the greatest achievements of the movies."
This is classic swashbuckling Fairbanks, based on the popular Dumas novel. An extravagant production that remains fairly faithful to the original. Interesting in relation to the many versions that followed, in order to compare and/or contrast how the productions evolved in their visual spectacle, as well as how they treated Dumas' original words.