Channeling his childhood hero, Douglas Fairbanks, Gene Kelly’s choice to play the athletic and charming D’Artagnan in MGM’s non-musical version of Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers comes as no surprise. As the young man who comes to Paris to join forces with the famous Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to protect King Louis XIII, Kelly presents the same grace and dexterity as he does in his various musical films. As he brandishes his sword in numerous duels, Kelly’s flexibility is evident in every leap, jump, and twist of his body. With costumes by the talented Walter Plunkett, The Three Musketeers presents a lavish vision of 17th century fashion (as the seductive Lady de Winter, Lana Turner’s hats deserve their own screen credit). Also starring Frank Morgan, Vincent Price, and June Allyson, this Technicolor film is a fun and stylish romantic adventure involving the recovery of lost jewels, infidelity, mystery, scandal, and friendship.

Photos: MGM / The Kobal Collection