The Three Musketeers (1921 film)

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For works with similar titles, see The Three Musketeers.
The Three Musketeers  (1921) 
by Fred Niblo
A 1921 American silent costume film directed by Fred Niblo, and based on Alexandre Dumas's 1912 novel The Three Musketeers.
Key (info)
Dialogue
In scene
Storyline

DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS
presents
ALEXANDER DUMAS'
"THE THREE MUSKETEERS"

Directed by
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Fred Niblo
Adapted by
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Edward Knoblock
Photographed by
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Arthur Edeson

COPYRIGHT 1921 BY DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS PICTURE CORPORATION

Scenario Editor
Assistant Director
Art Director
Technical Director
Master of Costumes
Master of Properties
Electrician
Film Editor
Musical Score by

Lotta Woods
Doran Cox
Edward M. Langley
Frank England
Paul Burns
Harry Edwards
Bert Wayne
Nellie Mason
Louis F. Gottschalk

THE PLAYERS

Louis XIII
Anne of Austria
Cardinal Richelieu
Duke of Buckingham
Constance
De Tréville
Rochefort
Milady de Winter
Father Joseph
D'Artagnan's Father
Bonacieux
Bernajoux
Planchet
Athos
Porthos
Aramis
D'Artagnan

Adolphe Menjou
Mary MacLaren
Nigel de Brulier
Thomas Holding
Marguerite De La Motte
Willis Robards
Boyd Irwin
Barbara La Marr
Lon Poff
Walt Whitman
Sydney Franklin
Charles Belcher
Charles Stevens
Leon Bary
George Siegmann
Eugene Pallette
Douglas Fairbanks

Life knows no age nor time.

Youth will ever set our to seek fortune.

Man will ever fight for the love of Woman.

Kings will threaten—Queens weep—Ministers conspire.

And so—though our story is of three hundred years ago, it is as young as Yesterday—or To-morrow.

Then follow as to France of old,
To fiery days when hearts beat high,
When blood was young and hate was bold,
When sword crossed sword to dare and die,
For love and honor gloried then,
When life was life, and men were men!

In 1625 the Court of France teemed with plot and counterplot, faction and cabal, enmity and jealousy—its men and women merely pawns in a game.

Louis XIII, the King, jealous, suspicious, easily moulded——

Cardinal Richelieu, the Prime Minister, iron-willed, bent on being the sole power to dominate the King—

In another room in the palace—

Anne of Austria, Queen of France, whose influence over the King is the one obstacle in Richelieu's path to power—

Constance Bonacieux—seamstress to the Queen—

Milady de Winter—

B

Father Joseph, the familiar of the Cardinal, fearsomely known as His Grey Eminence—

Madame my Queen

I hear again how cruelly the
Cardinal persecute you. I pray
you let me come to you that
I may throw around you the
protection of the love you have
ever scorned

Your most humble slave

Buckingham

In England, the Duke of Buckingham, whose mad infatuation for the Queen of France offers Richelieu the means for accomplishing his purpose—

"Monsieur le Cardinal, your medicine."

The queen
has but
now
received
a letter
from
Buckingham

"I thank thee, Joseph. That is very stimulating."

"Your queen is in danger."

"Your queen is in danger—menaced by a knight."

"Why do you harp on my Queen? What do you mean?"

"I but spoke of your chess queen, sire."

"Always double meanings. Speak out, I command you."

"What shall I say of the Queen save that she is profoundly devoted?"

"Devoted! To whom? Not to me. She is in love with Buckingham!"

"I cannot but think you are wrong, sire. If it were true, letters would have passed between them."

"Letters! We shall soon see."

"Madame, it is imperative that I see all your papers at once!"

"Your Eminence was right. There was a letter. Nothing about Buckingham. Plenty about you."

To Monsieur my Brother

The King of Spain

The humiliations put upon
me by this odious Cardinal
are becoming the gossip of
every court. I beg you
send an emissary to urge
his dismissal

Your good sister

Anne R

"You Majesty knows that I have always warmly defended the Queen. If she distrusts me I must bear it with humility."

In Tarbes, a town in the southern province of Gascony—

An impoverished nobleman sends forth his son to seek his fortune—

D'Artagnan

"Remember, my son, that you ancient nobility gives you the right to the best in France."

"You are brave for two reasons. First, because you are a Gascon and, second, because you are my son."

"You have thews of iron and wrists of steel. Fight an all occasions!"

"Fight the more since duels are forbidden, for that means double courage."

"Never forget these things—loyalty to the King—reverence for the Cardinal—devotion to the Queen———"

"——and my pride in you—my love for you."

In Paris—fresh intrigue—

Milord

Come to Paris that
I may say to you what
I dare not intrust to a
letter.

Repenting the impulse that led to the humiliation of the Queen, the King strives to make amends—

"It took ten years to collect and match those twelve stones. They cannot be duplicated."

"And the world says kings and queens are not happy!"

"I have come at a propitious moment to secure your signatures to a decree."

And D'Artagnan little realized, as he leisurely made his way toward Paris, that he was soon to be enmeshed in a scandal involving the foremost courts of Europe.

yourselves loyal and lawful subjects What we do now promise
is by our concurrence and
convent.

Louis R


Anne R

Louis R


Milord

Come to Paris that
I may say to you what
I dare not intrust to a
letter.

Anne R

"Meet Milady de Winter at Meung. She is to deliver this letter to Buckingham and remain in England until I send for her."

D'Artagnan takes every smile for an insult—every look as a provocation—

The Inn at Meung—

AUBERGE
DE LA COURONNE

"The exact shade of a buttercup! The color is common enough in botany but—until now—very rare among horses."

"Who laughs at my horse——laughs at me."

"Pardon me, madame. I must kill your friend."

"To Buckingham without delay——by order of the Cardinal."

"Coward!"

Thus chance left these two men with a score unsettled—but they were to meet again.

Paris—

MAGASIN
de
CHAPEAUX

A horse for a hat.

CORDONNERIE

BLANCHISSERIE

LOGEMENT

Logement

Bonacieux, uncle to Constance—

"Can you tell me where I might find lodgings?"

Thus fate plays her part again—

"Pardon me, mademoiselle. Do you live in this house or that house?"

"Marvellous!"

"I desire to secure lodgings here."

In England—Buckingham receives the forged letter—

Milord

Come to Paris that
I may say to you what
I dare not intrust to a
letter.

Anne R

"The letter has been delivered, madame."

In Paris, the next morning, D'Artagnan calls on his father's old friend, the Captain of the King's Musketeers—

Monsieur de Tréville, Captain of the King's Musketeers—

The ambition of his life—to be one of these—

"Athos!"

"Porthos!"

"Aramis!"

"You know that fighting is prohibited, yet you fight—fight—fight! And always with the Cardinal's Guards."

"But if you must fight—fight as you did yesterday."

"The three best swordsmen in Paris."

"So you are from Gascony—and the son of my old friend."

"What brought you to Paris?"

"I came to join the Musketeers."

"My boy, these Musketeers are all picked men."

"All my life I've dreamed, I've hoped, I've prayed to be in your regiment."

"Impossible! Serve your apprenticeship with the cadets for two years——and—we shall see."

"My man of Meung!"

"Excuse me. I am running after someone."

"You can find me without running. Do you understand?"

"Where?"

"Behind the Luxembourg."

"When?"

"One o'clock."

"Behind the Luxembourg."

"Permit me to observe, monsieur, that in one respect you are absolutely perfect. You are the most perfect idiot I have ever met."

"Behind the Luxembourg at one o'clock."

Possessed of Gascon courage, D'Artagnan wasted not a moment in regret that his first day in Paris had involved him with the three best blades of the time.

Behind the Luxembourg at one o'clock—

"Gentlemen, I desire to explain——"

"If you kill me, I shall have been honored——"

"If I kill you, I shall regret it all my life—for I love you every one."

"Monsieur Athos, on guard!"

"The Cardinal's Guards!"

"Hola! We are in luck! You are under arrest."

"Come and take us!"

"We are four against three!"

"Pardon, messieurs. Four against four!"

"A young Gascon played me foul."

"I'll find him and carve him to ribbons."

"My young harpooner, perhaps you'll arrange a time for me to show you to use a sword correctly."

"That is Bernajoux—the Cardinal's best swordsman."

APOTHICAIRE

One for all and all for one.

Thus D'Artagnan, in two days, became the talk of Paris and won for himself the loyal comradeship that was to last throughout his life.

Richelieu lodges complaint that the King's musketeers have assaulted his guards—

"Remember! I cannot have the Cardinal annoyed. Those who disobey the edicts must be—punished."

"Rest assured, Monsieur le Cardinal, these men shall be dealt with—properly."

"I commanded you to fetch me these four devils who have so maltreated seven of the Cardinal's best men. Where are they?"

"But where is that young cadet?"

"You rascal—you have kept the King wainting!"

"So you are that wild Gascon who fights a regiment single-handed?"

"For the future I shall expect you to be discreet."

"But not too discreet."

"I have a servant for you—a fellow who reflects before he acts."

"I found him on a bridge, spitting in the water so see which way the river was flowing."

"Your name?"

"Planchet."

"Your province?"

"Picardy."

As Richelieu's plans begin to mature, Constance makes ready to keep a mysterious appointment—

"Certain messages have been confided to you. Tell me what they are and to whom they are to be delivered."

"I dare not delay. Midnight is striking. It is the hour I am expected."

"Do not question me. My mission is secret."

"Who is he?"

DAISIT
LIBRAIRE

"Stop, in the name of heaven!"

"His Grace, the Duke of Buckingham."

"Lead on. I'll follow. If anyone looks at you I shall kill him."

The river entrance to the palace—

"Milord, you have been told that it was not I who wrote to you—yet you rashly insist on this interview!"

"What does it matter? Nothing matters but that I see you again."

"You see me at the risk of my honor—at the risk of your life."

"So sweet a voice can never pronounce the words that separate us."

"Everything separates us——"

"——the depth of seas——"

"——the enmity of kingdoms——"

"——the sanctity of vows!"

"I beseech you—relent."

"You must go—and you must never return."

"Then something for remembrance——something that you have worn—a ring—a chain—a brooch——that I may wear it always."

"And now, Madame, your Majesty and I share a secret."

The last of the King's gold—

Richelieu prepares to make use of the Queen's secret—

"How many days away is the court ball?"

"Twelve."

"Go to England. Deliver this to Milady de Winter."

While poverty still stalks the four friends, Aramis has secured for himself an invitation to dine—

"Father, I have a friend I know you'll like. He's outside now. May I bring him in?"

"Athos, you left your purse."

"I trust I am not intruding."

"Father, I have a friend outside—a fine fellow."

"Monsieur le Cardinal, you always win!"

"When I have bent my energies to a purpose, I have never failed."

D'Artagnan invites his friends to dine—

"I wagered D'Artagnan that he could not provide a dinner without money. Does he think Paris is paved with food?"

"Patience, my friends. This Gascon has a fashion of winnings his wagers."

Certain fortune-favored members of the Cardinal's Guards are gathered for a feast—

"Marvellous!"

"Intruder! How dare you meddle with our dinner?"

"Pardon, monsieur. My dinner."

"I would allow you to get your swords, but—really, Messieurs—the dinner is not worth it."

BLANCHISSERIE

"Porthos must pay."

While in the palace, the Queen, who has been lulled to a fancied security, receives a rude awakening—

"Madame, I wish to remind you that the court ball is only six days away. I request you to honor me by bearing to it the diamond buckle I recently gave you."

"This is the end! I am lost!"

Ten minutes later Constance arrives at home—

"Can I trust you?"

"I love you."

"As rivers love the sunlight."

"Are you sure?"

"I would give my life for you."

"This may mean your life."

"Go to England. Get the jewels from the Duke of Buckingham and return in all haste. The Queen's happiness, her life, her honor are in your hands."

"When you come back."

"Find Porthos and Aramis and meet me at De Tréville's."

Bonacieux sells his information—

"Search Paris. If D'Artagnan is within the gates, fetch him to me."

"On perilous expeditions of this kind you must pay toll. Four must start if one is to arrive."

"All for one and one for all!"

"Be at the Barrière du Nord in half an hour."

"See that the way to Calais—and beyond——is made unsafe."

"His Eminence presents his compliments and desires to see you at your earliest convenience."

"At your earliest convenience."

"D'Artagnan is below."

"When I drop this handkerchief—fire."

"You were about to leave Paris, Monsieur D'Artagnan?"

"We can make it very comfortable for you in Paris."

"It is imperative that I go."

"Monsieur D'Artagnan, if you were about to die, what would you do?"

"Your Eminence, I should write the history of France."

"And what would you say?"

"I should speak of her great men, Monseigneur."

"Whom do you call great?"

"Monsieur le Cardinal, Duc de Richelieu."

"And what would you write of him?"

"That he is a great statesman———"

"——a great poet——"

"——a great swordsman."

"You, yourself, are somewhat of a swordsman."

"By the way—what was that trick you employed to best my man, Bernajoux?"

Thus four men rode forth in the service of their Queen—

A relentless power exacts its first toll—

"Thas is D'Artagnan."

Porthos pays toll—

An inn near Calais—

Athos pays toll—

AU

LION D'OR

The port of Calais from which D'Artagnan plans to sail—

-AVIS-
LE PORT
EST FERMÉ

-NOTICE-
THE PORT
IS CLOSED

"The port will remain closed until you receive further orders from the Cardinal."

"It shall be as you say, Count de Rochefort."

"My man of Meung!"

"You are on the Queen's business, master."

In England—


Buckingham wears a
buckle set with twelve
diamonds. Get possession
of this and fetch it to
me at once.

Richelieu

"Good! Say to His Eminence that I am attending the Duke's fête to-morrow night."

Under the cover of midnight—

"Watch every boat for my return and have the horses ready."

"Set sail for England this instant or I'll blow out your brains!"

"My heart fails me. Every foot of this road is sown with danger."

"I'll stake my life he is near the shores of England at this moment."

"You love him."

The fête at the palace of the Duke of Buckingham—

"To the harbour."

"That is Milady de Winter."

"Milady de Winter has just left your house—bound for the harbour. She is a friend of Rochefort, a tool of Richelieu. She has the jewels!"

"The boat leaves in half an hour."

"Perfect!"

"After you leave Calais, go by way of Boulogne. This ring will get you fresh horses along that route."

Next morning—just before the ships drops anchor at Calais—

"We go by the long route. No food, no sleep, no rest until we reach Paris."

The inn near Calais—

"Has Monsieur D'Artagnan passed this way?"

"Then he has gone by the longer road. We can reach Paris ahead of him. Drive on."

PARIS
20
LIEUX

The evening of the court ball—

"You bungler! I place the resources of a kingdom at your command and you fail. Imbecile!"

"Guard every entrance to Paris. Line the streets. D'Artagnan must not pass."

"Go to the ball. Join the Queen—never leave her for an instant."

"Block every way that leads to the palace. Arrest that seamstress, Constance."

"D'Artagnan—dead or alive!"

The grand ball room of the palace—

"Her Majesty is late. I trust she will not forget that you desired her to wear your gift of jewels."

At the gates of Paris D'Artagnan scents danger—

"Our luck runs too high. I smell the Cardinal."

"Madame, why do you appear here without your diamond buckle?"

"Sire, I feared some accident might befall it."

"You do wrong to slight my wishes!"

"This is Fate!"

"This is for Meung—and this for Constance!"

"Your Queen!"

"My brave D'Artagnan, let this token ever remind you that you have won the eternal gratitude of a Queen."

"Constance has disappeared."

"Joseph, I never acknowledge defeat, I make use of it."

"If you were about to die, what would you do?"

"Your Eminence, I should still write the history of France."

"Then set down in your book, Monsieur D'Artagnan, that Richelieu was a generous foe."

"Marvellous!"

"And now, Monsieur D'Artagnan, what say you to a lieutenancy in my Guards?"

"Your Eminence, my dreams, my hopes, my ambitions are all with the Musketeers."

"I am offering him a commission in my Guards."

"A commission in the King's Musketeers."

And so, later in the evening, De Tréville presents to the King a new Musketeer—

"D'Artagnan!"

So thus they lived in France of old,
When blood was young and hearts were bold,
When sword crossed sword for honor then,
When life was life, and men were men.

THE END

COPYRIGHT 1921
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS PICTURES CORPORATION

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.


The author died in 1948, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.