The Influence of ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas

In celebration of Alexandre Dumas’ birthday, revisit one of his most influential works, The Three Musketeers, and how it continues to affect pop culture.

Adaptations Historical Fiction Pop Culture

Alexandre Dumas’ iconic French novel The Three Musketeers had quite an effect since its release in 1844. In celebration of Dumas’ birthday, read about how his work continues to influence pop culture and mass media on a global scale more than 150 years after its release.


Movie Adaptations of The Three Musketeers

The beloved novel tells the swashbuckling story set in 1620s France, filled with themes of chivalry, honor, loyalty, romance, and vengeance. The Comte D’Artagnan, a young, ambitious Gasconian, travels to Paris to become a part of the Royal Guard as a Musketeer. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, united by the motto “all for one, one for all,” make up the three musketeers. Together, the group embarks on an action-packed adventure in order to disassemble the nefarious plan of a villain plotting against the king and queen. 


The movie adaptations of The Three Musketeers began in the early 20th century with a series of silent films. Unfortunately, no traces of any of these films remain. A few of the most notable film adaptations of Dumas’s novel are the 1974, 1993, and 2011 movies, all titled The Three Musketeers. Each film took a few liberties with changing the source material, but each adaptation stuck to the same basic story of Dumas’ novel. The star-studded casts of many of these adaptations generated great commercial success. 


Alongside more traditional adaptations, multiple children’s films have gone in different directions with their adaptations. For example, Disney’s 2004 adaptation, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy: The Three Musketeers, is an animated tale that tells Dumas’ timeless story with the three musketeers portrayed through some of Disney’s most adored characters. In 2008, Mattel developed an all-female cast portraying the musketeers in Barbie and the Three Musketeers. Over the expanse of more than a century and developed across different genres, The Three Musketeers has been adapted over fifty times in film and television.

Television Adaptations of The Three Musketeers


One of the most recent adaptations of the novel, the BBC television series The Musketeers, takes more of a contemporary take on Dumas’ original story. Three seasons of the program aired between 2014 to 2016. The program was relatively well received and experienced profitable success. 

More than Just Mass Media 


The influence of The Three Musketeers on modern pop culture goes beyond just mass media. The popular candy, 3 Musketeers, got its name from Dumas’ work. The candy was released back in 1932 by the company Mars, which is responsible for many of the world’s most famous confectionary treats. Although today’s 3 Musketeers is a chocolate nougat candy bar, it also came in vanilla and strawberry flavors when it was first released. The bar was named in honor of the iconic trio starring in Dumas’ novel.

Mars discontinued the vanilla and strawberry in flavors in 1945 in order to cut costs during World War II. Even though the 3 Musketeer candy bar is now a solo act, the name stuck around for the long haul.

Click here to read a little bit more about the life of Alexandre Dumas.

Click here to check out some of Dumas’ most iconic quotes.