At Sword's Point (1952)

80-81 mins | Adventure | February 1952

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Sons of the Musketeers . According to a Sep 1946 HR news item, independent producer-director Walter Colmes purchased Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen's screen story for $25,000. In Mar 1947, HR announced that Republic, a studio with which Colmes frequently co-produced pictures, had purchased the story. By Oct 1949, the story had been acquired by Jerrold T. Brandt, according to HR . Long-time character actor Alan Hale, Sr., father of Alan Hale, Jr., who played "Porthos" in the picture, was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the role of "Porthos, Sr." but died on 22 Jan 1950 before completing the part. Moroni Olsen, who portrayed "Porthos" in RKO's 1935 film The Three Musketeers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), replaced Hale, Sr. In late Sep 1950, HR announced that Cornel Wilde was returning from England to star in added scenes. The exact dates of the added scenes have not been determined. According to modern sources, RKO producers Norman Krasna and Jerry Wald oversaw the retakes at the request of RKO head Howard Hughes. For information about other films featuring the "Musketeer" characters, see entry for the 1948 M-G-M picture The Three Musketeers in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ... More Less

The working title of this film was Sons of the Musketeers . According to a Sep 1946 HR news item, independent producer-director Walter Colmes purchased Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen's screen story for $25,000. In Mar 1947, HR announced that Republic, a studio with which Colmes frequently co-produced pictures, had purchased the story. By Oct 1949, the story had been acquired by Jerrold T. Brandt, according to HR . Long-time character actor Alan Hale, Sr., father of Alan Hale, Jr., who played "Porthos" in the picture, was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the role of "Porthos, Sr." but died on 22 Jan 1950 before completing the part. Moroni Olsen, who portrayed "Porthos" in RKO's 1935 film The Three Musketeers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), replaced Hale, Sr. In late Sep 1950, HR announced that Cornel Wilde was returning from England to star in added scenes. The exact dates of the added scenes have not been determined. According to modern sources, RKO producers Norman Krasna and Jerry Wald oversaw the retakes at the request of RKO head Howard Hughes. For information about other films featuring the "Musketeer" characters, see entry for the 1948 M-G-M picture The Three Musketeers in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Feb 1952.
---
Daily Variety
23 Jan 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Feb 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 50
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 52
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Jan 52
p. 1214.
New York Times
10 Apr 52
p. 37.
Variety
23 Jan 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sons of the Musketeers
Release Date:
February 1952
Production Date:
mid December 1949--early February 1950
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
8 February 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1590
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
80-81
Length(in feet):
7,290
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14308
SYNOPSIS

In 1648, in the wake of Cardinal Richelieu's demise and the approaching death of the Queen, France is plunged into political chaos. The Queen's most power-hungry opponent is the Duke de Lavalle, who, as a leading member of the Council of Noblemen, is scheming to marry the Queen's daughter Henriette and kill the young Prince. Because Lavalle has murdered every royal messenger who has tried to deliver pleas for help to the King of Spain, the Queen sends her guards to find the Musketeers, four brave men who aided her when she was young. Unknown to the Queen, all of the Musketeers have either died or are too old to return to service. Three of the Musketeers--D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos--have grown sons, however, and the young men eagerly respond to the Queen's summons. The fourth Musketeer, Athos, sends his daughter Claire, an expert swordswoman, who dresses in men's clothing. When they all meet at the same inn at which their fathers used to rendezvous, the three young men assume Claire is a man and prepare to room with her. Terrified at the prospect, Claire suddenly lets down her long hair and orders the men to sleep in the stables. The next morning, some of Lavalle's men enter the inn looking for the Musketeers and, without identifying themselves, the new Musketeers challenge them to a sword fight. Later, at the palace, the Musketeers introduce themselves to the Queen, who is surprised but grateful. The Queen asks the Musketeers to escort Henriette to Spain, so that Spain can safely force the Council of Noblemen to reject Lavalle. The sickly Queen then reveals ... +


In 1648, in the wake of Cardinal Richelieu's demise and the approaching death of the Queen, France is plunged into political chaos. The Queen's most power-hungry opponent is the Duke de Lavalle, who, as a leading member of the Council of Noblemen, is scheming to marry the Queen's daughter Henriette and kill the young Prince. Because Lavalle has murdered every royal messenger who has tried to deliver pleas for help to the King of Spain, the Queen sends her guards to find the Musketeers, four brave men who aided her when she was young. Unknown to the Queen, all of the Musketeers have either died or are too old to return to service. Three of the Musketeers--D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos--have grown sons, however, and the young men eagerly respond to the Queen's summons. The fourth Musketeer, Athos, sends his daughter Claire, an expert swordswoman, who dresses in men's clothing. When they all meet at the same inn at which their fathers used to rendezvous, the three young men assume Claire is a man and prepare to room with her. Terrified at the prospect, Claire suddenly lets down her long hair and orders the men to sleep in the stables. The next morning, some of Lavalle's men enter the inn looking for the Musketeers and, without identifying themselves, the new Musketeers challenge them to a sword fight. Later, at the palace, the Musketeers introduce themselves to the Queen, who is surprised but grateful. The Queen asks the Musketeers to escort Henriette to Spain, so that Spain can safely force the Council of Noblemen to reject Lavalle. The sickly Queen then reveals the location of the monastery at which her son has been hiding. Unknown to the Queen, her daughter's trusted lady-in-waiting, Countess Claudine, is a spy for Lavalle and is aware of the Musketeers' plan to abduct Henriette from Lavalle's men. Ordered by the Queen to return home, Claire pledges her love to D'Artagnan before she and the others head off in opposite directions. The three remaining Musketeers then descend on the carriage on which Henriette is traveling, but are trapped by Lavalle's men. Riding nearby, Claire joins the ensuing fracas and is arrested along with the other Musketeers. In prison, Lavalle tries to torture Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan into revealing the Prince's whereabouts, but they, and Claire, remain silent. Desperate to break them, Lavalle orders that the Musketeers be executed one by one, starting with D'Artagnan. Just before he is to die, however, Lavalle offers to spare the Musketeers if the Queen gives him permission to marry Henriette. The Queen accepts Lavalle's terms, and the Musketeers are freed. To Lavalle's shock, a veiled Claire takes Henriette's place at the wedding ceremony, while the other Musketeers whisk Henriette to the inn. There, they hear that the Queen has died. Dressed as a boy, Henriette then leaves with the Musketeers for the monastery, one step ahead of Lavalle's guards. The imprisoned Claire, meanwhile, is befriended by Claudine, who helps her to escape and, after declaring that the other Musketeers are dead, coaxes her into revealing the Prince's location. Before leaving with Claire, Claudine gets word to Lavalle, whose men race to the monastery, arriving ahead of the Musketeers. When Claire sees Porthos guarding the road to the monastery, she deduces Claudine's betrayal and alerts Porthos. Claudine is captured and taken to the inn, where she confesses Lavalle's plan to murder the Prince. To determine where Lavalle has taken the Prince, Claire poses as a seductive barmaid and lures one of Lavalle's guards into a trap. After the man reveals that the Prince is being held at Lavalle's heavily guarded castle, the Musketeers scour the countryside, soliciting aid from the peasantry. While the peasants prepare to storm the castle, the Musketeers convince Claudine that they are surrendering and allow her to deliver them to Lavalle. Moments before the castle is besieged, the Musketeers take Lavalle by surprise, while Claire grabs the Prince. During the ensuing fight, Lavalle takes the Prince hostage, but D'Artagnan outmaneuvers him and kills him in a sword fight. With the crown finally secure, the Musketeers pledge their loyalty to the new King. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.