The Three Musketeers (1993 film)

The Three Musketeers (1993 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Three Musketeers

caption = "The Three Musketeers" promotional film poster
director = Stephen Herek
producer = Roger Birnbaum,
Joe Roth,
Jon Avnet
writer = Alexandre Dumas, père (novel),
David Loughery (screenplay)
starring = Charlie Sheen,
Kiefer Sutherland,
Chris O'Donnell,
Oliver Platt,
Tim Curry,
Rebecca De Mornay,
Gabrielle Anwar,
Julie Delpy
music = Michael Kamen
cinematography = Dean Semler
editing =
distributor =
released = November 12, 1993
runtime = 105 min
country = Austria,
United Kingdom,
United States
language = English
budget =
amg_id = 1:119909
imdb_id = 0108333

"The Three Musketeers" is a 1993 film version of the classic story from Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Stephen Herek and starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O'Donnell and Oliver Platt.

The film is based on the novel "The Three Musketeers" ("Les Trois Mousquetaires") by Alexandre Dumas, père. It recounts the adventures of d'Artagnan on his quest to join the three title characters in becoming a musketeer. The adaptation greatly simplifies and alters the story, and takes considerable liberties with French history.

The relationship between Athos and Milady de Winter is altered to make the two characters more sympathetic. In the book Milady just married Athos to gain a fortune and when he found out about her Fleur-de-lis he hung her from a tree and left her for dead. She survived and escaped, plotting revenge on Athos. In the film, Milady actually loves Athos and when he finds out that she is a criminal he banishes her from his land but later realizes his mistake. After being cast out by Athos, Milady becomes an evil person in the novel. Her role in this film is a good deal more sympathetic; she helps the Musketeers by giving them the information they need just before she commits suicide by jumping off a cliff.

Plot summary

Following in his late father’s footsteps, d'Artagnan (Chris O'Donnell) sets off to Paris in hopes of becoming a member of the Musketeers, a band of men sworn to serve and protect the King of France. D’Artagnan is pursued by Gerard and his brothers, who accuse him of blemishing their sister’s honor.

At Musketeer headquarters, Captain Rochefort and the cardinal’s guards have disbanded the musketeers per the orders of Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry), the King’s minister, ostensibly to help fight in an impending war with England. Rochefort confides to the Cardinal that there are three musketeers that have refused to relinquish their duties: Athos (Kiefer Sutherland), Porthos (Oliver Platt), and Aramis (Charlie Sheen).

Upon reaching Paris, the headstrong d'Artagnan has a series of chance physical encounters with these same three musketeers, resulting in d'Artagnan accepting a duel with each one that very day.

D’Artagnan arrives at the Ruins for his first duel and, much to his surprise, Athos, Porthos and Aramis reveal themselves as musketeers. But before the duels can commence, the captain of the cardinal's guard appears with orders to arrest the resistant musketeers.

Although d’Artagnan himself is not under arrest, he joins the three musketeers in the ensuing skirmish, implicating himself with them. Displeased by d’Artagnan's involvement, the three musketeers leave d’Artagnan behind. More of the Cardinal’s guards arrive and d’Artagnan is captured.

During an escape attempt, d’Artagnan is able to overhear a conversation between Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter (Rebecca De Mornay), as the cardinal asks that she deliver a signed treaty to the Duke of Buckingham of England. Before he can get a view of the cardinal's spy, d’Artagnan is caught at the doorway and sent for execution the next morning.

At the execution, d’Artagnan is saved by Porthos and Aramis, and make a getaway in the Cardinal’s personal coach. While d’Artagnan reveals Richelieu’s plans, the three musketeers decide to intercept Richelieu’s spy to prove that the Cardinal is guilty of treason.

That night d'Artagnan and the three musketeers stop at an inn to rest. Athos tells a story of a count that fell in love with a beautiful woman, but upon discovering that she was branded for execution, betrayed her by giving her up to the authorities.

The party decides to split up during a skirmish. Athos sends d’Artagnan to ride ahead and intercept the cardinal's spy and the treaty, but d'Artagnan passes out from exhaustion in the middle of the road. When he wakes up, he finds he is stripped of his weapons and clothes and Milady de Winter is there to rouse and seduce him. Not knowing who the spy is, d’Artagnan tells her of his plans, whereupon she tries to kill him. Instead, d’Artagnan convinces her to keep him alive. When Milady de Winter’s party tries to escape by boat to England, they find that the crew has been killed by Porthos and Aramis, and another skirmish ensues.

Milady attempts to run away, but is confronted by the newly arrived Athos, who recognizes her and calls her Sabine. He is astonished to see her, as he thought she was dead. It is revealed that he was the count of his story and that Sabine was the wife he betrayed. Milady de Winter is then apprehended by her former brother-in-law, as Sabine is responsible for killing her husband, Lord de Winter, and sentenced to death by execution.

The three musketeers retrieve the treaty and learn that the Cardinal is planning something on King Louis’ birthday, though it does not specify what in the treaty. Athos attempts to learn what it is by visiting Sabine in her cell. She asks if he can stop her execution tomorrow. Athos cannot and Sabine does not reveal what the Cardinal’s plan is.

During the execution, just as Sabine is lowering her head for the executioner, Athos stops him and begs forgiveness from Sabine for his betrayal. She accepts and whispers to Athos Richelieu’s plans to assassinate King Louis before jumping off a cliff to her death.

After learning of the Cardinal’s plan, the three musketeers set out to re-band the rest of the musketeers, in secret, for the king’s birthday celebration. Richelieu and Rochefort hire a sniper to assassinate the king. During the assembly, d'Artagnan is able to stop the sniper from killing the king, but the shot narrowly misses its target and the Cardinal blames the musketeers in the crowd for the attempted assassination.

Athos, Porthos and Aramis drop their cloaks to show their musketeer tunics and face the Cardinal’s guards. Meanwhile, men from the crowd rush to their sides and reveal that they are musketeers. A battle between the musketeers and the Cardinal’s guards engulfs the palace. Richelieu takes the king and queen as hostages and tries to take them to the dungeon below. Aramis confronts the Cardinal to stop him, but Richelieu shoots him in the chest and makes his way into the passage to the dungeon.

Athos battles with Rochefort, a former musketeer, and d'Artagnan interrupts the battle to save Athos and fight Rochefort himself. d'Artagnan is able to overcome Rochefort and retrieve his father’s sword from him. Athos joins Porthos, who is at the unconscious Aramis’ side, and as they search for his wound, Aramis suddenly wakes, and it is revealed that the bullet was stopped by the huge cross that Aramis wears. They follow Richelieu into the dungeons and split up to stop him from killing the king and queen.

In the dungeon, Athos and Porthos just miss the Cardinal as his boat starts on the underground river. Athos says that they have proof of Richelieu’s treason, but Richelieu does not seem to care. The boatman then casts off his cloak and the Cardinal is astonished to see that it is Aramis. Aramis attempts to apprehend the Cardinal, but King Louis stops him and punches Richelieu, knocking him in to the river. It is the last time Richelieu appears in the story.

During d'Artagnan’s duel, Rochefort reveals that he was the one that murdered d’Artagnan's father, and d'Artagnan, from anger, renews his efforts to kill him. Rochefort fights back and is able to disarm d'Artagnan. Just as Rochefort is about to deal d’Artagnan the final blow, Constance appears to the side and slides d’Artagnan’s sword back to him. d'Artagnan kills Rochefort just as he is about to strike, and avenges his father’s death.

The musketeers are reinstated by the king. Accompanied by Athos, Aramis and Porthos, d'Artagnan is honored in a ceremony. King Louis makes him a musketeer. Constance, who has remained by the queen’s side, runs to him and gives him a big embrace, impressing both Aramis and Porthos.

Outside musketeer headquarters, Gerard and his brothers challenge d'Artagnan to an immediate duel. d'Artagnan tells his new friends that he will take care of this problem and Porthos stops him from continuing, stating that since now he is a musketeer, musketeers protect each other. d'Artagnan calls out, “All for one. . .” and the rest of the musketeers shout out, “One for all!” The scene ends with Gerard and his brothers being chased by an army of musketeers.

Production details

Charlie Sheen was originally sought for the role of Porthos.

Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O'Donnell and Oliver Platt all endured six weeks of fencing and riding lessons. Charlie Sheen had to miss all this out as he was then embroiled in the filming of Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993).

Mostly shot in Perchtoldsdorf, Austria, where Rebecca De Mornay attended high school and college.

Brad Pitt turned down the role that ultimately went to Chris O'Donnell. Billy Baldwin, Johnny Depp and Gary Oldman were also sought out by Disney for parts in the film.

A rival TriStar version was also in development at the same time as this film, with star Johnny Depp and director Jeremiah S. Chechik attached. Ultimately, it fell through. Oliver Platt had also been approached to play Porthos in that version as well.

Filming locations

Filming locations included Charlestown, Cornwall, England, UK, and Castle Landsee (Burgenland); Burg Liechtenstein, Maria Enzersdorf, Hinterbrühl, Korneuburg (Lower Austria); and Vienna (particularly Hofburg) in Austria.

Some sequences were shot in Cornwall, England. A small woods called Golitha Falls was used in one sequence when the musketeers are being pursued by guards. The small harbour village of Charlestown is home to the galleon that was used in a night-shoot.

Cast list

*Charlie Sheen as Aramis
*Kiefer Sutherland as Athos
*Chris O'Donnell as D'Artagnan
*Oliver Platt as Porthos
*Tim Curry as Cardinal Richelieu
*Rebecca De Mornay as Lady Sabine DeWinter
*Gabrielle Anwar as Queen Anne
*Michael Wincott as Rochefort
*Paul McGann as Girard / Jussac
*Julie Delpy as Constance
*Hugh O'Conor as King Louis


Movie critic Leonard Maltin christened this version "Young Swords", as it reunited Sheen and Sutherland, both of "Young Guns" fame. More generally, the reception to this film can best be described as lukewarm. The Rotten Tomatoes website gives only a 30% fresh rating, indicating that this film was panned by 2 out of 3 critics.


Bryan Adams co-wrote the #1 hit "All for Love" for the movie's soundtrack, performing it with Rod Stewart and Sting.

The original music score is composed by Michael Kamen and the cinematography is by Dean Semler.


In the scene where d'Artagnan is about to be beheaded and the executioner reveals himself to be Porthos, Porthos claims "This axe was a gift to me by the Tzarina of Tokyo" which is a running gag with absurd claims that Porthos makes throughout the film. However, Tokyo at this time was known as Edo and wouldn't receive its modern name until after the Meiji Restoration in the 19th Century.

In the scene where d'Artagnan stabs Rochefort, he orginally stabs him in the stomach. After it cuts back to d'Artagnan for a moment, we see that the blade has magically moved to Rochefort's heart area when the camera cuts back to Rochefort. Rochefort then states "I may have been mistaken" after intially stating the d'Artagnan would never have made a Musketteer.

External links

*imdb title|id=0108333|title=The Three Musketeers
*amg title|id=1:119909|title=The Three Musketeers
* [ Roger Ebert review]

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