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The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 827 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 12 critic

Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Warren William ...
...
...
Walter Kingsford ...
...
Bert Roach ...
Marion Martin ...
Mlle. de la Valliere (as Marian Martin)
Montagu Love ...
Spanish Ambassador
...
...
Nigel De Brulier ...
Cardinal Richelieu (as Nigel de Brulier)
William Royle ...
Commandant of Bastille
Boyd Irwin ...
Lord High Constable of France
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Storyline

D'Artagnan and the musketeers are the only ones who know of the existence of a twin brother, and Fouquet uses his influence to keep everyone silenced. The main story was changed by portraying Louis XIV as selfish, cruel, and incompetent, and Philippe the kind-hearted brother who is raised by D'Artagnan and the musketeers and does not even know that he has an identical twin. When the truth is discovered, Louis XIV has Philippe imprisoned with the iron mask placed on him, hoping that Philippe's beard will grow inside the mask and eventually strangle him. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

brother | musketeer | mask | iron mask | beard | See more »

Taglines:

Alexandre Dumas most amazing, adventurous epic


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit der eisernen Maske  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(colorized) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Cushing did double duty on this film. In additional to his own role, he would feed Louis Hayward the lines for the split screen shots. Director 'James Whale' initially cast him only to play opposite Hayward in the sequences where both twins appear together, but was impressed enough with the newcomer that he offered Cushing a small part on horseback. This was Peter Cushing's film debut, and he had the unique opportunity to view his own rushes and improve his own performance, especially since none of it would be used in the finished feature. As 'Second Officer,' he can be seen 17 minutes in, with two lines of dialogue ("I've been here before"). See more »

Goofs

In one chase scene, a character fires a pistol three times in quick succession. 17th century firearms had to be reloaded after each shot. See more »

Quotes

Philippe: There is one law in life, my brother, that not even a king can escape... the law of retribution!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Man in the Iron Mask (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Many take a hand in superb screen adventure
31 July 2001 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Screenwriter George Bruce, a specialist with swashbuckling tales, is at his best in this rather loose adaptation of the fanciful Alexandre Dumas novel that relates how the Three Musketeers won their final battle. The scenario tells of the birth of twin sons to King Louis XIII of France and his wife, and of how, since there can be but one dauphin, the latterly born is secretly given to the care of the King's favorite swordsman D'Artagnan who, along with the Musketeers, raises him in Gascony. The return to Paris of the untitled and untravelled son, Philip, along with the four veteran warriors, at the request of Minister Colbert, one of the few who is aware of the twin birth, and the resulting adventures largely brought about by a sharp contrast in humanity between the brothers, forms the basis for the subsequent fast-moving and exciting events. Louis Hayward brilliantly plays the dual parts of the twins King Louis XIV and the unrecognized Philip, providing a proper degree of personality disparity, along with a display of excellent fencing skill and a robust penchant for romancing the Infanta of Spain, nicely performed by Joan Bennett. Walter Kingsford and Joseph Schildkraut are sterling as ministers in competition for the King's ear, as are Albert Dekker and Doris Kenyon as Louis XIII and his queen, but it is Warren William, whose profile puts that of John Barrymore to shame, who steals the supporting cast honors with a very strong performance as D'Artagnan. James Whale's flamboyant style of direction is perfect for this cinematic transposition of the classic novel, and the editing is well-nigh perfect, capping a delightful performance by all.


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