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The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)

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.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

Alexandre Dumas (novel) (as Alexandre Dumas père), George Bruce (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Hayward ... Louis XIV / Philippe of Gascony
Joan Bennett ... Maria Theresa
Warren William ... D'Artagnan
Joseph Schildkraut ... Fouquet
Alan Hale ... Porthos
Walter Kingsford ... Colbert
Miles Mander ... Aramis
Bert Roach ... Athos
Marion Martin ... Mlle. de la Valliere (as Marian Martin)
Montagu Love ... Spanish Ambassador
Doris Kenyon ... Queen Anne
Albert Dekker ... Louis XIII
Nigel De Brulier ... Cardinal Richelieu (as Nigel de Brulier)
William Royle ... Commandant of Bastille
Boyd Irwin 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

Taglines:

Free Him! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit der eisernen Maske See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Edward Small Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(colorized) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In 1952 'Alan Hale Jr.' played Porthos Jr. in a quasi-sequel, At Sword's Point (1952) and recreated his father's role in the remake The Fifth Musketeer (1979). See more »

Goofs

In a scene with King Louis XIV and Mlle. de la Valliere, they are talking as they are seated together. In that scene, Mlle. de la Valliere's necklace is long, yet in a closeup the necklace almost looks as if it was a a different one, because it sits high up on her neck. See more »

Quotes

Fouquet: [With contempt] Let me congradulate you, my friend, but then you always had the most annoying habit of bringing about the things you wish to bring about. Most amusing comedy - worthy of so great a playwright!
Colbert: As a fellow playwright you understand how narrow the line dividing comedy and tragedy.
Fouquet: Quite right, and I'm afraid His Majesty's executioner will provide the tragedy when this charming little comedy is finished.
Colbert: His Majesty's executioner could provide the tragedy before the comedy is ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are printed into a old book. A unseen male hand pages through it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veep: Helsinki (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly the best version...
9 January 2009 | by e_hoffmanSee all my reviews

The 1939 version of THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK was one of my first costume swashbucklers. I was lucky enough to see it at a screening at school and loved every minute, whether it was the swordplay, the action or even the chilling moments that featured Louis Hayward as either the evil...and most definitely unbalanced...King Louis XIV or his twin brother Philippe, trapped in that nightmarish iron mask.

But more importantly, it gave me a group of unusual heroes in D'Artagnon and the Musketeers in an era when most youngsters' heroes were cowboys riding the TV range. A wonderful group with Warren William holding every scene he is in as the aging but still courageous and adventure-loving D'Artagnon. It wasn't until a few years later that I saw Errol Flynn's ROBIN HOOD and recognized Alan Hale as my first movie Porthos.

It's sad that James Whale directed movies no more after this one, but what he left us is one of the best of the classic costume adventures that is still a joy to watch and a wonderful journey to the legend of the men whose battle cry was "One For All! And All For One!" Catch it when it is repeated on TCM and, for a couple of hours, be a kid again!


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