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The King with My Face (1967)
"Tie tou huang di" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 11 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

This elaborate period piece crafted by versatile young director Ho Meng Hua is a Chinese variation of the famous 'The Man Behind the Iron Mask' legend based on the rule of French King Louis... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ching Lee ...
Princess Hui Hsi
Yeong-gyun Shin ...
Shing An, King Wei
Yi Shen ...
Chiu Chiang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hsiung Chao
Lei Cheng ...
Chou Yuen
Chi Chu Chin
Miao Ching ...
Shing Tien
Siu Loi Chow ...
Gaoler
Mei Sheng Fan ...
Wen Chao
Li Jen Ho
Chung-Hsin Huang ...
Wen Tsu-yuan
Seung-Ho Kim ...
Tao Po-bei
Wei Lieh Lan ...
Gaoler
Ying Lee ...
Tsai Hou
Lily Li ...
Hsing Erh
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Storyline

This elaborate period piece crafted by versatile young director Ho Meng Hua is a Chinese variation of the famous 'The Man Behind the Iron Mask' legend based on the rule of French King Louis XIV and immortalized through the writings of Dumas and Voltaire only this time the story is supplanted into the environs of ancient dynastic China during the time of the Warring States. In this grand Shaw Brothers/Korean co-production, Korean movie idol Shin Yeong-gyun headlines to play a despotic and decadent Chinese emperor who cruelly imprisons the King's righteous and humble identical twin brother (also played by Shin) forced to wear a hideous forged steel mask shielding his face to suppress his rightful place on the throne. With the help of small a band of patriotic rebels, a beautiful young princess sojourning from a neighboring kingdom and betrothed to the king played by 'Asian Movie Queen' Li Ching employs her charm and finesse to uncover the King's plot and rescue the condemned brother. ... Written by Kenny Woo

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Drama | History

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4 July 1967 (Hong Kong)  »

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The King with My Face  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

THE KING WITH MY FACE – Entertaining Hong Kong costume drama
25 May 2008 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

THE KING WITH MY FACE (1967) offers a well-produced Shaw Bros. variation on Alexandre Dumas' famous tale, "The Man in the Iron Mask." The king of the title is more interested in spending time with his sexy concubine than in greeting visiting royalty, including a noble from another country who's bringing his beautiful princess daughter for the king to marry. The king is a bad one, abetted by a wicked prime minister, and he orders a palace built for his concubine in six months, which means lots of farmers get taken out of the field for forced labor, arousing massive discontent. Long story short: when the king learns of a young hero who's a dead ringer for him, he uses him to take his place to go meet the visiting noble and the princess. The princess and the kind double fall in love. And when the king gets wind of this, he gets jealous and has the double locked up in an iron mask. The double's adoptive father, a retired general, and his sons have to find a way to get word to the princess and rescue the double from imprisonment. It gets exciting.

The Korean actor who plays the bad king and his good double is Shin Yung-kyoon and he's very good. Whenever the double is dressed up in the king's garb you can tell which one he is by his demeanor. There are some flawless process shots where the actor walks around himself in the same shot. Li Ching is lovely as the sweet princess who's shocked at the change in behavior of the king once she meets the real one. Lily Li plays her maid. I love watching these actresses doing the formal movements, gestures and facial expressions of women in court.

It's a very lavish production which offers a reasonable amount of suspense and an action climax. The ending is weak, based more on contrivance than character. But I enjoyed the film as I was watching it.


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