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The Iron Mask (1929)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 21 February 1929 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writers:

Lotta Woods (scenario editor), Douglas Fairbanks (story) (as Elton Thomas) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Belle Bennett ... The Queen Mother
Marguerite De La Motte ... Constance
Dorothy Revier ... Milady de Winter
Vera Lewis ... Madame Peronne
Rolfe Sedan Rolfe Sedan ... Louis XIII
William Bakewell ... Louis XIV / Twin Brother
Gordon Thorpe Gordon Thorpe ... Young Prince / Twin Brother
Nigel De Brulier ... Cardinal Richelieu
Ullrich Haupt Ullrich Haupt ... De Rochefort
Lon Poff Lon Poff ... Father Joseph
Charles Stevens ... Planchet - D'Artagnan's Servant
Henry Otto ... The King's Valet
Léon Bary Léon Bary ... Athos (as Leon Barry)
Tiny Sandford Tiny Sandford ... Porthos (as Stanley Standford)
Gino Corrado ... Aramis
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Storyline

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 revolution, and has him sent off to Spain to be raised in secret to ensure a peaceful future for France. Alas, keeping the secret means sending Constance, lover of D'Artagnan, off to a convent. D'Artagnan hears of this and rallies the Musketeers in a bid to rescue her. Unfortunately, Richelieu out-smarts the Musketeers and banishes them forever. Richelieu enlists D'Artagnan to look after and protect the young prince. Meanwhile, de Rochefort learns of the twins and Richelieu's plans, and kidnaps the twin, raising him in secret. Many years later, with Richelieu dead and the young prince crowned King Louis XIV, Rochefort launches his plan. The king is kidnapped, replaced with his twin, put in an iron mask so as not to be recognized, and led off to a remote castle to be held prisoner. Louis XIV is able to ... Written by Theron Trowbridge <Tmonk@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Youth will thrill, age will gasp at the romance and valor of the dauntless daredevil who found no risk to great for love and country.(Print Ad-Owosso Argus-Press,((Owosso, Mich.)) 10 May 1929) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die eiserne Maske See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Sur, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elton Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (edited) (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (talking sequences, musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the prologue the four musketeers stand in a framing device, as a medieval stage booth, and D'Artagnan steps forward and speaks to the audience, then steps back and resumes his position with the other three, who remained motionless; after the mid-point intermission, the same situation is repeated, with D'Artagnan speaking again to the audience, finishing with the words, "once more, once more . . . ", after which the film resumes with the title card "20 years later". These were the first lines of dialogue ever spoken on film by Douglas Fairbanks, in his last silent film. See more »

Goofs

The iron-masked King languishes in his tower prison and notices a fisherman in the sea below. He quickly scratches a message on a pewter platter and tosses it out of the window to the rocks below. The fisherman picks up the place and READS the message - at that time in history the (oppressed) French working class were illiterate. See more »

Quotes

Porthos: Come on! There is greater adventure beyond.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1999 restored version (near 104 minutes) by Kino Video, has the original speeches by d'Artagnan, the title cards, but a new musical score by Carl Davis, played by the City of Prague Philharmonica Orchestra. The restored version is distributed by Kino Video and Photoplay Productions. See more »

Connections

Version of Le masque de fer (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

One for All, All for One
(1929) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Jo Trent
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld and Louis Alter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ho-LA! (Douglas Fairbanks' Greatest Adventure)
3 May 2008 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Musketeer par excellence Douglas Fairbanks (as D'Artagnan) is back, in this extraordinary sequel to his "The Three Musketeers" (1921). After some years, Mr. Fairbanks' main job becomes protecting the French King's good son. Unbeknownst to most everyone (except the movie audience), the Prince and heir to the throne, William Bakewell (as Prince Louis XIV), has an evil twin brother; the identical twosome were separated-at-birth, in order to assure one King ascended to the throne, without incident. However, "good" Prince Bakewell is abducted, and locked up in "The Iron Mask"; then, "bad" Prince Bakewell takes his place. Fairbanks and his musketeer pals must set things right.

With its superb acting, brilliant pace, and stunning photography, this is the one Douglas Fairbanks film you must see, if you only see one. "The Iron Mask" is among the best films in the swashbuckler and silent film genres. It's also (probably) Fairbanks' best performance as an actor. His quintessential performance, and film, might have been overlooked for "Academy Award" consideration due to Fairbanks being, at the time, President of the Academy. It was also apparent, to Fairbanks and others, that the popularity of talking pictures would soon silence the older style, despite the artful late 1920s silent film productions.

"The Iron Mask" featured a spoken word introduction (with Fairbanks in fine voice); currently, it is the rarer version. As the Fairbanks' introductory words invite viewers into the "shadows of the past", of a different "age", it's worth seeking out the original introduction. Another version featured Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s narration, replacing intertitles; this version is interesting, to a point. Note, eventually, the "narration" version becomes distracting and obvious.

Fairbanks, with director Allan Dwan and photographer Henry Sharp, came up with an ending so memorable it's been said to symbolize the approaching end of its star's career, and the end of silent films in general. They could hardly have had a more suitable ending. For Douglas Fairbanks and company, "The Iron Mask" was a perfect fit.

********** The Iron Mask (2/21/29) Allan Dwan ~ Douglas Fairbanks, William Bakewell, Nigel de Brulier, Léon Bary


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