Three Musketeers Serial

THREE MUSKETEERS (Wikipedia)

“The Three Musketeers is a 1933 film serial produced by Mascot Pictures which updates Dumas’ The Three Musketeers by setting the story in contemporary North Africa. The Musketeers are soldiers in the French Foreign Legion, and D’Artagnan (renamed Lt. Tom Wayne and played by John Wayne), is a pilot in the United States military. The supporting cast features Raymond Hatton, Francis X. Bushman, Jr., Lon Chaney, Jr. and Noah Beery, Jr. The serial is in the public domain.In 1946 Republic Pictures edited the serial into a feature film called Desert Command.

“Plot.

“When Lt. Wayne is framed for the murder of his fiancé’s brother, Armand Corday (Lon Chaney, Jr.), he vows to capture the real killer, a mysterious Arab terrorist known only as El Shaitan. He is aided by the Three Musketeers: Clancy (an Irishman always spoiling for a fight), Renard, and Schmidt (who loves sausages). Nicknamed the “Devil of the Desert”, El Shaitan leads a desert cult and a secret society against French authorities, with a meeting point called Devil’s Circle. He remains a shadowy figure, hiding his face and his true identity, as a result of which many people are mistakenly suspected of being El Shaitan, while other characters impersonate him for their own ends.

“Cast

Jack Mulhall as Clancy
Raymond Hatton as Renard
Francis X. Bushman, Jr. (Ralph Bushman) as Schmidt
John Wayne as Tom Wayne
Ruth Hall as Elaine Corday
Creighton Chaney (Lon Chaney, Jr.) as Armand Corday
Hooper Atchley as El Kadur
Gordon de Main as Colonel Duval
Robert Frazer as Major Booth and El Shaitan, leader of The Devil’s Circle, whose main objective is to destroy the French Foreign Legion. Frazer played both El Shaitan and Major Booth but El Shaitan’s real identity turned out to be one of the other suspects. Cline considers this “all quite confusing.
Noah Beery, Jr. as Noah Stubbs
Al Ferguson as Ali
Edward Peil, Sr. as Ratkin
William Desmond as Captain Boncour
George Magrill as El Maghreb
Robert Warwick as Colonle Brent

“Production

“The Three Musketeers was loosely adapted from the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, père and updated to a contemporary time period. The Three Musketeers are legionnaires in the French Foreign Legion: Clancy (Irish), Renard (French) and Schmidt (German). The D’Artagnan character is Tom Wayne, an American aviator played by John Wayne, who rescues the three from attacking Arabs while flying over the desert

“Chapter titles

[In Mr. FAT-W Video Volume 1] The Fiery Circle
One for All and All for One
The Master Spy

[In Mr. FAT-W Video Volume 2] Pirates of the Desert
Rebels’ Rifles
Death’s Marathon

[In Mr. FAT-W Video Volume 3] Naked Steel
The Master Strikes
The Fatal Cave

[In Mr. FAT-W Video Volume 4] Trapped
The Measure of a Man
The Glory of Comrades

The series has been superbly remastered from film elements by National Film Museum, and is now available on Mr. FAT-W Video DVDs; the direct links to Amazon.com for the purchases of the DVDs are below.