The Three Musketeers (1939), starring Don Ameche and the Ritz Brothers
I’ve known of the Ritz Brothers for some time, although I’ve not seen many of their movies. Previously, the only one of their movies that I saw was The Gorilla (with Bela Lugosi). And I wasn’t impressed with their comedy. The Three Musketeers, however, has totally changed my opinion of the Ritz Brothers.
Everyone has heard of the Three Musketeers, the classic swashbuckling adventure. But this version has the dashing D’Artagnan (played well by Don Ameche) mistaking three cowardly bumblers (the Ritz Brothers) as the Three Musketeers. Who, despite their best efforts, come to the comedic rescue multiple times.
One of my favorite moments in the film is where the villainess Milady De Winter (Binnie Barnes) has hidden an important message in her cleavage, and D’Artagnan’s gentlemanly manners prohibit him from going after it. The Ritz Brothers get it without annoying the censors by picking her upside down and shaking. And message after message falls out; “She’s a walking post office!”
It’s a very funny take on the classic story, which I both enjoyed and strongly recommend.
Product Description of The Three Musketeers
Singing his way into Paris, D’Artagnan (Don Ameche) joins up with three men he believes to be the King’s Musketeers, but they are merely impostors who have borrowed the uniforms from their true owners. The quartet soon becomes embroiled in a political plot and D’Artagnan is sent by the Queen (Gloria Stuart) to reclaim her valuable jewel. Before completing his appointed task, he manages a swift romance with Lady Constance (Pauline Moore), some rousing musical numbers and a series of spectacular wild adventures.
Based on Alexander Dumas’s classic tale, The Three Musketeers, this musical comedy shares characters and some plot but is ultimately a slapstick spoof on the original. D’Artagnan (Don Ameche) sings his way through the film while The Ritz Brothers, three chefs at a French Inn, impersonate the real Musketeers, accidentally insinuating themselves into a confusing roil between French and British royalty. As the four unlikely men happen to discover that the French queen (Gloria Stuart) has endured an affair with a British Duke, D’Artagan and his three cohorts aim to save her humiliation by stealing back a brooch that she bequeathed to the Duke in a fit of passion.
Love between D’Artagnan and the queen’s lady in waiting, Lady Constance (Pauline Moore) adds sex appeal. This romance substantiates the film when D’Artagnan serenades Lady Constance, who is captive high in a castle tower. The Ritz Brothers’ physical comedy peaks while they sword fight, clank wine goblets together in cheers, or bumble in and out of carriages or castles. More like a story of four musketeers, this funny tale boasts corny one-liners, such as “No noose is good noose.” The Three Musketeers essentially sets the stage for these comedians to sing and dance, making it a cheerful jaunt into a realm of imagined chivalry. — Trinie Dalton
Funny movie quotes from the Three Musketeers:
- Right now I’m the tallest midget in the world!
- I can feel the noose around my neck right now! But don’t worry, no noose is good noose!
- Die? That’s pretty permanent …
And it lasts a long time!
- D’Artagnan: Remember the code! Do nothing undignified.
- She’s a walking post office!
Cast of characters
- Don Ameche (Heaven Can Wait) … D’Artagnan
- The Ritz Brothers (The Gorilla) … Three Lackeys
- Binnie Barnes (Holiday) … Milady De Winter
- Gloria Stuart (The Old Dark House) … Queen
- Pauline Moore (Heidi) … Lady Constance
- Joseph Schildkraut (The Greatest Story Ever Told) … King
- John Carradine (Five Came Back) … Naveau
- Lionel Atwill (The Vampire Bat) … De Rochefort
- Miles Mander Miles Mander … Cardinal Richelieu
- Douglass Dumbrille (Son of Paleface) … Athos
- John ‘Dusty’ King … Aramis
- Russell Hicks (Blondie for Victory) … Porthos
- Gregory Gaye (Ninotchka) … Vitray
- Lester Matthews (Werewolf of London) … Duke of Buckingham
- Egon Brecher (The Black Cat) … Landlord
- Moroni Olsen (Life with Father) … Bailiff
- Georges Renavent … Captain Fageon
- C. Montague Shaw … Ship Captain
- Jean Perry … Guard
- Frederik Vogeding (The Green Hornet Serial) … Guard