The Three Musketeers (1974) Movie Poster Image

The Three Musketeers (1974)



Lively and bawdy retelling of the classic.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

"All for one and one for all" really does sum it up, as newcomer d'Artagnan, despite ignoble country-boy birth, earns the respect, protection and fellowship of the upper-class swordsmen through his daring. Devotion to patriotic duty is shown (somewhat) by the way the Musketeers protect their king and queen (however fey and unworthy they might be).

Positive role models

The Musketeers are courageous though not without flaws; they womanize (d'Artagnan has an affair with the married Lady Constance), they steal from helpless merchants and innkeepers, and they treat death as a mere trifle, flippantly talking of killing and wounding. A faithful servant is treated as an inferior, not even acknowledged as a person. Female characters are also sirens/schemers, except maybe the too-dim-to-be-bad Lady Constance.


Countless sword thrusts and fights, some blood drawn, with some fatalities. Also punches, crotch kicks, head bops, and other fighting, usually in a slapsticky vein. Gunshots fell men, horses, and a deer.


Sexual innuendo in the dialogue. Actresses have low-neckline revealing costumes. D'Artagnan sleeps (discreetly shown) with the married Constance, intrudes in the bed of a villainess.


"Damn," and "God" used as an exclamation.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, some drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this version of the Alexander Dumas saga has plentiful swordplay, with some fatalities and bloody wounds. There is sexual innuendo in the dialogue and various adulterous affairs. There is some drinking and a Catholic cardinal as a villain.

What's the story?

D'Artagnan of Gascony (Michael York) is an adventurous youth and swordfighter from the French countryside, sent by his ex-soldier father to Paris with recommendations to become a Musketeer, illustrious personal guard to the king. But not only does d'Artagnan get a dismissive reception, he manages to offend, individually, three veteran Musketeers, Athos (Oliver Reed), Porthos (Frank Finlay), and Aramis (Richard Chamberlain), who all determine to duel him the same afternoon. Fortunately they are interrupted to unite against a common foe, a rival group of guards and villains, led by Rochefort (Christopher Lee) who serves the King's powerful prime minister, Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston). The cardinal wants to use a secret, dangerous extramarital affair between the queen and a British diplomat as a public scandal to undermine the royal family and increase his own power. D'Artagnan and his new friends must race to intercept the incriminating evidence.

Is it any good?


If you don't mind a heavy concentration of British and American actors playing French folk, this is a surprisingly faithful rendering of the oft-filmed Alexander Dumas novel. Relaxed studio censorship met up with the fun and occasional raunchiness of the classic prose, while very good stuntwork, charismatic acting, fleet direction, and exquisite 17th-century detail make it effortlessly enjoyable. The producers actually shot a super-sized movie, covering the entire Dumas novel, then released it split into two parts; the followup, The Four Musketeers, is also breezy and entertaining, though it concludes with deaths of some key characters.

Fun fact: It's alleged nobody told the actors involved that they were going to be in two movies, not one, and they sued for double payment. Which is still faithful to the book, as the fictional Musketeers are frequently squabbling about money. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. Past generations of kids aspired to be like them. Can young viewers of today see why?

  • Talk about the effects of watching onscreen violence. How do production values and the tone of a movie make a difference in the viewing experience?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 31, 1974
DVD/Streaming release date:August 12, 1998
Cast:Faye Dunaway, Michael York, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain
Director:Richard Lester
Studio:Anchor Bay Entertainment
Topics:Adventures, Book characters
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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Teen, 14 years old Written byfrenchtripsomglol(: October 25, 2011


it was pretty good. we went on a feild trip in french to see it
Kid, 12 years old December 4, 2011

Movie review

It show's teamwork: all 4 one and 1 for all!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bysara12321 October 25, 2011

The three musketeers

parents will like this,the kids will. this is the best film in a long
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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