By Roy Jacobs
“All for one and one for all,” the catchphrase of brotherhood! The famous quote comes from the well-known serial novel The Three Musketeers written by Alexander Dumas about the adventures of a young man named D’Artagnan who leaves his home to join the Musketeers of the Guard, full name, Musketeers of the Military Household of the King of France.
The story is a classic and has been retold numerous times, sometimes adhering to the true story and other times taken with lots of liberty and imagination. The Three Musketeers has been filmed in various languages and in silent film. At last count, there are 59 various adaptations and a cartoon versions of The Three Musketeers.
The first production of The Three Musketeers was from a French filmmaker in 1903. Very little is known about this film and, unfortunately, may no longer be in existence.
In 1921, a silent version of The Three Musketeers was released starring Douglas Fairbanks. In this film Fairbanks performs a one-handed handspring during a fight scene to grab a sword. This scene is considered one of the greatest stunts of early cinema.
The first talkie of The Three Musketeers was in French and was released in 1933. In 1936, the first animated version was an Italian film named The Four Musketeers based on The Three Musketeers. Supposedly over three thousand marionettes were used in the filming.
There is even a B-Movie Western called The Three Mesquiteers.
In 1952, The Two Mouseketeers, a cartoon parody starring Tom and Jerry was released. The cartoon short won an Academy Award for best animated short film.
One of the most memorable film versions is the 1974 release of The Four Musketeers, starring Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Michael York, Raquel Welch, and others, served as a sequel to the 1973 The Three Musketeers.
The story is not safe from toys either. In 2009 the world famous doll Barbie stars in her own version of The Three Musketeers. Barbie dreams of becoming a Musketeer like her father.
There are numerous films based on the plot and films featuring descendants of the musketeers.
There is even a world famous candy bar, Three Musketeers.
Art Matters is a weekly column sponsored by Leach Theatre, a division of Student Affairs, on the campus of Missouri S&T, and produced by Emily Brickler, Managing Director of the theatre and ten-year veteran teacher with a Masters of Art in Teaching from Webster University.