The Iron Mistress (1952)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Biography  |  12 March 1953 (Japan)
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Reviews: 17 user | 1 critic

Barely historical presentation of the life of Jim Bowie. Here he goes to New Orleans to sell lumber but falls in love with Judalon. To match his rivals he must become sophisticated and does... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel) (as Paul I. Wellman)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judalon de Bornay
Juan Moreno
Ursula de Varamendi
Alf Kjellin ...
Philippe de Cabanal
Narcisse de Bornay
Black Jack Sturdevant (as Tony Caruso)
Nedrick Young ...
Henri Contrecourt (as Ned Young)
Rezin Bowie
Robert Emhardt ...
Gen. Cuny
Dr. Cuny (as Donald Beddoe)
Harold Gordon ...
Andrew Marschalk
Jay Novello ...
Judge Crain
Nick Dennis ...
Nez Coupe


Barely historical presentation of the life of Jim Bowie. Here he goes to New Orleans to sell lumber but falls in love with Judalon. To match his rivals he must become sophisticated and does so. By the time he sells the mill, starts a plantation and tries to wed Jedualon the woman has wed playboy Phillipe. Along the way to true wisdom he designs a special knife made from part of a meteorite. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


JIM BOWIE...a man with his name on a knife - and a woman with a weapon all her own!


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 March 1953 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Im Banne des Teufels  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 28, 1954 with Virginia Mayo reprising her film role. See more »


The knife-maker claims the meteorite he found is made of steel. Steel is a man-made substance using iron and carbon. Metallic meteorites contain an iron-nickel alloy. See more »


Black Jack Sturdevant: You got the guts for a ten foot circle, wrists strapped together?
See more »


Referenced in The Red Balloon (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Weapons, snowballs!
24 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jim Bowie sets off to sell lumber in New Orleans, but once there he is captivated by the beautiful Judalon de Bornay and finds that life here is vastly different to that of home. Getting himself into many scrapes on account of his feelings for Judalon, Bowie invents a new kind of Knife, the Iron Mistress, and from here a legend is born.

Nobody should go into this picture expecting a Jim Bowie biography, in fact Western fans who haven't seen it should be advised that it barely registers as a Western piece. What it is, is a fine picture that certainly appears to be undervalued {if a little under seen} on the IMDb site. It's full of dandy men fighting and duelling with honour and guts, beautiful women that are surely worth fighting for, and of course it introduces us to the legendary Bowie Knife.

It's based on a Paul Wellman novel, and by all accounts the film is pretty loyal to Wellman's ideals, it doesn't however take us all the way to the Alamo. Alan Ladd takes the lead role of Bowie, shiny blonde hair and brooding for all he is worth, fans of his performance in Shane should definitely check this one out, it's a great performance from Ladd, the kind that makes the gals go gooey and the boys to thump their chests. Virginia Mayo is Judalon and positively simmers with sexual beauty, the character is akin to a viper, and the pot boiling sexual tension is palpable in the extreme, she is in short, a woman men will die for.

Some scenes are just terrific, a duel in a darkened room that is only lit by the odd flash of lightning thru a window, a knife fight as two men with one arm tied to each other face off in a circle of honour, and of course Jim Bowie in every encounter, his violent gutsy bravado fearsome as his reputation escalates. At the time of writing only 141 people have voted on this picture, only 10 people have bothered to write a user comment for it, that's a shame because although it may not be a Western as such, it's a damn fine romantic, dandy, drama with a Western legend at its core. 8/10

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