Pierre Marteau's Publishing House






Fred Niblo. USA 1921.

12 reels/11,700 feet

Production Company: United Artists
Production: Douglas Fairbanks

Screenplay: Lotta Woods
Based on: Edward Knoblock's adaption of Les Trois Mousquetaires by Alexandre Dumas, père (1844)

Music: Louis F. Gottschalk
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Editing: Nellie Mason
Art Direction: Edward M. Langley
Technical direction: Frank England
Costume design: Paul Burns

Douglas Fairbanks (D'Artagnan)
Leon Barry (Athos)
George Siegmann (Porthos)
Eugene Pallette (Aramis)
Boyd Irwin (Comte de Rochefort)
Adolphe Menjou (Louis XIII)
Nigle De Brulier (Cardinale Richelieu)
Marguerite De La Motte (Constance Bonacieux)
Barbara La Marr (Milady de Winter)
Thomas Holding (Duke of Buckingham)
Sidney Franklin (Monsieur Bonacieux)
Charles Stevens (Planchet)
Willis Robards (Captain de Treville)
Mary MacLaren (Queen Anne of Austria)
Charles Belcher (Bernajoux)
Walt Whitman (D'Artagnan, père)
Lon Poff (Father Joseph)


    Knoblock's adaptation covers only the first third of Dumas' lengthy novel - the episode of the Queen's diamond studs. In the story, Queen Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII of France has been conducting a surreptitious romance with the Duke of Buckingham. If she is detected, she is vulnerable not only to a charge of adultery but also to one of treason for consorting with her country's enemy, the commander of the English army. Cardinal Richelieu, the gray eminence and power behind the throne, is perpetually maneuvering to increase his influence, and, aware of the Queen's infatuation, he seeks a way to drive a wedge between her and the King.
    Meanwhile, a penniless young man from Gascon named D'Artagnan sets out for Paris with his father's sword and blessing, a yellow plowhorse, and a letter of recommendation to Captain de Treville of the King's Musketeers. As proud as he is poor, D'Artagnan brooks no insluts to his honor; and when at Meung, the Comte de Rochefort, an arrogant agent of the Cardinal, ridicules his horse, D'Artagnan draws his sword and challenges de Rochefort, whose lackeys smash him over the head, break his sword, and knock him senseless while their master drives off in his coach.
    Finally arriving in Paris, D'Artagnan, while in an interview with Captain de Treville, looks out the window and spots de Rochefort passing by. In a rage, he dashes out and down the stairs, only to collide with Athos, a musketeer recently wounded in a fight with the Cardinal's guards. D'Artagnan apologizes, but Athos chides him for his clumsiness, and the two of them agree to settle the dispute by a duel at noon. Resuming his pursuit, D'Artagnan entangles himself in the cloak of Porthos, another musketeer, and another duel is scheduled - for one o'clock. By now, D'Artagnan has lost so much time that when he emerges onto the street, his adversary has vanished. Instead, he finds a third musketeer, Aramis, engaged in a dispute over a lady's hndkerchief, which Aramis claims he did not drop. Trying to be helpul, D'Artagnan picks up the handkerchief and returns it to Aramis, who thanks him by arranging for a third duel - at two o'clock. Thus, within a few hours after arriving in Paris, D'Artagnan has managed to arrange to fight three of the best swordsmen in France. His only consolation is that if he is illed, it will be by a King's musketeer.
    Knowing no one who can act as his second, he arrives alone at the dueling ground. Athos, however, is seconded by Porthos and Aramis, and when all three realize that they are to fight the same person, they are amused and impressed by D'Artagnan and Athos cross blades, a detachment of the Cardinal's guards appear and order the musketeers to place themselves under arrest.




    Siegfried Kracauer: Ein alter Douglas Fairbanks-Film

    In der Neuen Lichtbühne wird ein vor vielen Jahren gedrehter Film: DER VIERTE MUSKETIER gezeigt, der nach dem Roman von Alexander Dumas fabriziert worden ist. Vielleicht hat er damals als Prunkfilm gegolten; heute ist er nur noch ein historisches Kuriosum. Es handelt sich in ihm um verzwickte höfische Kabalen, in deren Mittelpunkt der Kardinal Richelieu steht. Er wirkt wie ein Schmierenintrigant, und Adolphe Menjou, sein Gegenspieler, ist nun einmal trotz des angehefteten Spitzbärtchens kein König, sondern ein süffisanter Lebemann. Auch Bronnens längst verstorbene Barbara La Marr muß übrigens in der Geschichtsmaskerade herhalten. Douglas Fairbanks selbst hat inzwischen entschiedene Fortschritte gemacht; denn als vierter Musketier ficht er zwar so trefflich wie heute, aber sein Auftreten ist von einer kaum zu überbietenden Tölpelhaftigkeit. - Der vorangehende amerikanische Kinderfilm - einer der vielen, in denen Lausbuben sentimental glorifiziert werden - wäre vielleicht zu ertragen, wenn man nicht wüßte, daß aus den Lausbuben später Amerikaner werden, die wieder solche Filme herstellen.

    (FZ vom 1.11.1928, Stadt-Blatt)