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 stages an assassination against himself where Philippe is dressed as king Louis. But Philippe manages to escape the assassination and everybody believes him to be the real king...Written by
Stop trying to look innocent. You haven't got the face for it.
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In the longer version, titled Behind the Iron Mask, Sylvia Kristel, Beau Bridges and Ursula Andress are credited simultaneously (in this order). However, Bridges' name is positioned slightly higher on screen than the two ladies. This way it can appear that either Bridges is top billed (being the highest credit of the three) or Kristel (when reading from left to right). A similar construction was employed during the opening credits of Jaws (1975) for it's three leads. See more »
The US release, running 1 hour and 44 minutes, was cut from an original version released overseas, running 1 hour and 56 minutes. Scenes excised from the US release:
-An extended scene of Louise de la Valliere's striptease for Louis XIV, exposing her full nudity.
-A scene of the Four Musketeers in their prison cell. They play a game of dice, tricking their jailers by inviting them into their game, then restraining them and grabbing their keys for release. Their escape is short-lived, as they see a party of rifle-aiming guards awaiting them. The Captain flatters their ingenuity, but urges them to return to their cell.
-An intro to the Musketeers and Philippe in the wine cellar of Bernard's Inn. They come out of hiding in empty wine casks.
-An extended scene of the Spanish Ambassador being fatally assaulted by the horse in the stable.
-A love scene of Philippe and Marie Theresa in bed together.
-A dressed Philippe seeing Marie Theresa sleeping in bed. She awakes.
-An extended scene of Marie Theresa dressing, exposing her breasts.
-A love scene of Louis and Louise in bed together. The exposed Louise questions Louis' decision to let Philippe live. Louis argues that he is his brother, but assures her that he will eventually die in the Iron Mask, perhaps strangling in the long beard he will grow inside it.
-An extended scene to Fouquet watching Colbert and Marie Theresa's Spanish-language conversion. He brings out a spy.
-An extended scene of Colbert heading to Bernard's Inn. Fouquet's spy follows Colbert. Bernard plays dumb to the spy's questions.
-An extended scene of Louis trying to rape Marie Theresa. The two fall off the bed with Marie Theresa moving away from his grasp (to drug Louis' goblet)
-An extended scene of Louise being stood up in her dinner date with Louis. She shouts at the musicians to stop.
-An extended scene of the Musketeers meeting with Marie Theresa. D'Artagnan throws his cloak around the breast-exposed princess.
-Fouquet shows Colbert the rack, demonstrating its work by pulling a stuffed dummy apart.
-An extended scene of Aramis' death. He is able to throw his Parrying Dagger at his assailant, killing him.
-An extended scene of Philippe's duel with Louis. Philippe is able to wound Louis in the thigh. See more »
This retelling of Dumas' The Man in the Iron Mask makes for an ok film for a rainy day, but is hardly an epic swasbuckler. Beau Bridges is good in the dual roles of Louis and Phillipe, as is Rex Harrison as Colbert. Ian McShayne is delightfully evil as Fouquet and Ursulla Andress is wonderfully bitchy. Cornell Wilde and Alan Hale Jr. reprise their roles (sort of) from the film At Swords Point. Papa Bridges is around as a decidedly unreligious Aramis, and Jose Ferrer trades Cyrano's nose, for Athos' tunic. Sylvia Kristel is rather wooden as Marie Therese. In all, there is little for the actors to work with, but the scenery is nice and a few action sequences are quite good. Still one could have hoped for better things with this cast.
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