The story of Louis XIV of France and his attempts to keep his identical twin brother Philippe imprisoned away from sight and knowledge of the public, and Philippe's rescue by the aging ... See full summary »
King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for ... See full summary »
Marguerite De La Motte,
King Louis XIV has without his knowledge a twin brother, Philippe, but when he is told, he immediately locks up his brother in the Bastille. The king wants to increase his popularity and ... See full summary »
Istanbul, September 1918. Posing as neutral Swedish journalist 'Nils Anderson', Indiana Jones is trying to convince Turkish general Mustafa Kemal to form a separate peace with the allies ... See full summary »
Sean Patrick Flanery,
A very long, beginning-to-end life story of an eighteenth century womanizer that is arrested, not so much for his crimes, but because he is viewed as an undesirable by the husbands and ... See full summary »
A spoof of "Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire", wherein Harry Potter and the other three competitors fight for a cream bun. How Lord Voldemort tries to thwart this contest, and who wins in the end, forms the rest of the plot.
The story of Louis XIV of France and his attempts to keep his identical twin brother Philippe imprisoned away from sight and knowledge of the public, and Philippe's rescue by the aging Musketeers, led by D'Artagnan. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
At about 35:50 min, when Colbert is at the tailor's to check the dress for the king, in the moment when the dress is brought into the room, you can see an electrical switch near the door frame as well as a cable running along the frame. See more »
But please, don't let me interrupt your exercise.
Nonsense, it's a welcome intrusion for an aging swordsman.
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Richard Chamberlain had already proved himself a fine actor before starring in this TV production of "The Man in the Iron Mask," but here he truly gives the performance of a lifetime. Performances, I should say, because he plays two different (VERY different) roles: King Louis XIV and his long lost twin brother, Phillippe.
Louis is a spoiled, infantile (his courtiers know perfectly well to deliberately lose at croquet lest they "risk another tantrum") and often cruel man, who lives in splendor while his subjects starve. He treats his long-suffering wife like garbage, openly flirting with and carrying on other women, and at one point he even viciously rips her wig off in public after calling her a "mountain of sallow flesh." Not surprisingly, no one likes Louis all that much; even his mother is hard pressed to say anything nice about him.
Meanwhile, Phillippe, totally unaware of his relation to Louis, is mysteriously kidnapped from his cozy home and thrown into the Bastille. But it's not what you think -- his kidnappers are the ageing Three Musketeers, who, fed up with their "water lily" of a ruler, have a plan to oust him and replace him with his identical twin, Phillippe. (Though Phillippe was born first and is therefore the rightful king, they insist that he rule as Louis XIV because of France's instability.) The Bastille was a "safe place" to stash Phillippe, or so they thought; at least two people, upon accidentally seeing Phillippe, are struck by his resemblance to Louis. One of them reports to Fouquet, the king's closest adviser. Upon verifying Phillippe's identity, Fouquet breaks the news to Louis, who, quite rightly fearing usurpation, hatches a cruel plan: imprisoning Phillippe for life in a run down castle in a distant part of France. But even that isn't enough: "No one must look upon his face," Louis tells Fouquet. Hence the iron mask, which is locked upon poor Phillippe in a gut-wrenching sequence.
The rest of the movie is about the Three Musketeers rescuing Phillippe, telling him the truth, and proceeding ahead with their plans. Meanwhile, Phillippe falls in love with Louise, a pretty lady of the court who the king is also unsuccessfully trying to romance (and as it turns out, Fouquet likewise tried to romance, and when she spurned his advances, he had her father thrown in the Bastille), and there's plenty of wonderfully intricate plotting.
While the performances are strong all around (except for maybe Jenny Agutter as Louise), it's Richard Chamberlain who carries the entire movie. Phillippe starts out an ordinary person, but his grotesque mistreatment starts to make him almost savage. Not surprisingly, the desire for revenge burns white-hot inside him, and he finally gets to realize it at the end. He also has a remarkable moment when, after having assumed Louis XIV's identity, he meets his mother for the first time: he is so emotional that he can barely get the words out, yet manages to cover it by telling her how beautiful she looks. The queen mother, who of course doesn't know his true identity, beams and says, "My Louis?" as if wondering that maybe now she can finally truly love her son.
Meanwhile, his turn as Louis is admirably restrained. Most actors would not be able to resist chewing the scenery while playing such a vile, decadent character, but Chamberlain instead gives a nuanced, surprisingly subtle performance. Louis is thoroughly despicable, and Chamberlain is clearly having fun playing such a juicy villain, but he doesn't go over the top.
Patrick McGoohan also shines as the clever, vain, heartless Fouquet. He often speaks in a type of growl that reminds me of Jeremy Irons, and his refined sadism is chilling to watch. It makes it all the more satisfying that, in the end, Fouquet is deceived by a simple seamster -- and that he himself is the one who seals his own fate by incorrectly naming Louis as the pretender.
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