Revenge of the Musketeers
|Revenge of the Musketeers|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bertrand Tavernier|
|Produced by||Frederic Bourboulon|
|Music by||Philippe Sarde|
|Edited by||Ariane Boeglin|
|Distributed by||Bac Films|
|Box office||$311,922 (USA)|
Revenge of the Musketeers (French: La fille de d'Artagnan) is a 1994 French adventure film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring Sophie Marceau, Philippe Noiret, Claude Rich, and Sami Frey. Set in the seventeenth century, the film is about the daughter of the renowned swordsman D'Artagnan who keeps the spirit of the Musketeers alive by bringing together the aging members of the legendary band to oppose a plot to overthrow the King and seize power. Sophie Marceau did her own fencing on screen. In 1995, the film received César Award nominations for Best Music Written for a Film (Philippe Sarde) and Best Supporting Actor (Claude Rich).
In the autumn of 1654, an escaped slave seeks refuge at a convent in southern France. After the nuns take him in, his pursuers break into the convent and assault the nuns, searching for the slave. After wounding the mother superior (Pascale Roberts), they close in on their prey. One feisty novitiate, Eloise (Sophie Marceau)—the daughter of the renowned swordsman D'Artagnan (Philippe Noiret) of the famed Three Musketeers—stands up to the intruders, but is shoved aside as they ride off after the frightened slave, who escaped from the evil Duke Crassac de Merindol. Eloise finds a blood-stained piece of paper (a simple laundry list) that the slave used to stop a bleeding wound, and believes it holds some secret code. Later, Eloise is with the mother superior when she dies from her wound. Swearing a sacred oath to avenge her and dressed in men's clothes, Eloise sets out for Paris to elicit the help of her father in tracking down the murderers.
Along the way at a roadside tavern, Eloise gets into a sword fight and is helped by a young poet, Quentin la Misère (Nils Tavernier), who writes her a brief love poem, "Dance, butterfly, dance..." Attracted to Eloise, he offers to accompany her to Paris. There, she is reunited with her famous father, whom she hasn't seen since childhood. She shows her father the blood-stained paper she believes holds the key to a secret plot, but he tells her it looks like a laundry list with blood on it. Later, D'Artagnan visits the grave of his former Musketeer, Athos, and longs for the days when the Musketeers were together, defending their King.
Meanwhile, Eloise leaves her father and heads to the royal court, where she tricks her way inside. There, Cardinal Mazarin (Gigi Proietti) is teaching the youthful King Louis XIV (Stéphane Legros) the subtleties of deceitful diplomacy. After meeting with Mazarin—who is indeed plotting against the King—Eloise learns that he is after Quentin and rushes off to save the young poet. Mazarin believes that she has evidence—the bloody laundry list—of his conspiracies and orders the one-eyed man to follow her and find out what she knows. The King's men track her down and chase her through the narrow streets of Paris. When they capture her, her father comes to the rescue, and the two defeat several men in a daring sword fight. One of the men, however, escapes with Quentin's love poem and delivers it to Mazarin, who concludes that it is too poorly written to be a poem and must be some coded message.
With Eloise and Quentin in tow, D'Artagnan reunites with two of his former musketeers—Porthos and Aramis—whom he enlists to help thwart an as yet unidentified conspiracy against the King. Convinced the list contains a secret code, the pedantic Aramis helps decipher the list, using advanced linguistic and biblical knowledge. Meanwhile, the Duke of Crassac (Claude Rich)—a slave trader and smuggler—is indeed plotting against the King, planning to poison him at the upcoming coronation, blame Mazarin, and when the King's younger brother is installed, step in as the powerful King's protector. Crassac's mistress, Eglantine de Rochefort—the "woman in red" who witnessed the convent murder—tasks him to kill all involved in the convent incident and leave no witnesses.
D'Artagnan, Porthos, Aramis, Eloise, and Quentin make the long ride to the convent, where they hope to learn more about the conspiracy. Eloise arrives before the others and finds the body of a dead nun before encountering Eglantine in the process of destroying all evidence of her existence from the convent's records. After they struggle, Eloise is captured by Eglantine's accomplice and taken to Crassac's castle dock where she joins the nuns who are being sold and shipped to the Americas as slaves. When Crassac arrives and spots Eloise, he decides to take her for himself back to his castle.
When D'Artagnan and his companions arrive, the aging musketeers slowly scale the castle walls, only to be helped by the one-eyed man, who turns out to be the fourth Musketeer, Athos, thought to have died years before. Seeing the nuns being loaded onto a ship in the distance, the Musketeers ride to their rescue, killing scores of smugglers, and freeing the sisters. After the fight, the Musketeers ride off to Paris, where the King is preparing for his coronation, and where they suspect Eloise is being held.
In Paris, D'Artagnan enters the palace and warns the young King about the plot against his life. Meanwhile, Crassac and his followers gather and plan the next day's coronation murder. While Crassac shares his delusional plans to marry Eloise, she suddenly appears—freed by the jealous Eglantine—and in the ensuing sword fight, just as Eloise is about to be killed by three of Crassac's men, D'Artagnan and his men come to her rescue. While the musketeers fight Crassac's men, Eloise chases after the fleeing Crassac and engages him in an extended sword fight that leads them to the roof of the palace. Just as Crassac is about to kill Eloise, D'Artagnan arrives and runs the evil Duke through with a sword, ending the threat to his daughter and to his King. Afterwards, D'Artagnan tells his daughter how proud he is of her and the two embrace.
Production on Revenge of the Musketeers started in October 1993. The film originally started under the direction of Riccardo Freda, but was taken over by Bertrand Tavernier a few days after shooting had started.
Revenge of the Musketeers received mixed reviews. In his review on AV Club, Keith Phipps wrote, "Tavernier's assured direction and a game performance from Marceau make it worth a look."
The web site Flickering Myth praised the film's solid entertaining qualities:
D'Artagnan's Daughter is precisely the kind of fun and feisty swashbuckler French cinema excels at. Tavernier throws conspiracy, duels to the death and father/daughter tensions into an adventure film and still keeps the tone indomitably light-hearted. This is quintessential Saturday night entertainment; it just happens to be in French."
Total Film magazine gave the film a rating of one star, noting that the 1997 French film Le Bossu that "a more confident affair that bolsters playfulness with purpose". The web site Stumped focused on Marceau's performance, writing, "Marceau is delightful in the lead, demonstrating a playful coquettishness and a mastery of the blade."
Awards and nominations
- 1995 César Award Nomination for Best Music Written for a Film (Philippe Sarde)
- 1995 César Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Claude Rich)
- "La fille de d'Artagnan". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Awards for La fille de d'Artagnan". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "La fille de d'Artagnan". BFI Film & Television Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Phipps, Keith (March 29, 2002). "Return of the Musketeers". AV Club. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "D'Artagnan’s Daughter (1994)". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Kinnear, Simon (October 5, 2010). "La fille de d'Artagnan". Total Film. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "The Revenge of the Musketeers". Stumped. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Revenge of the Musketeers at the Internet Movie Database
- Revenge of the Musketeers at the TCM Movie Database
- Revenge of the Musketeers at AllMovie
- Revenge of the Musketeers at Rotten Tomatoes