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The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 13 March 1998 (USA)
The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director:

Randall Wallace

Writers:

Alexandre Dumas (novels), Randall Wallace (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,248 ( 601)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... King Louis / Phillippe
Jeremy Irons ... Aramis
John Malkovich ... Athos
Gérard Depardieu ... Porthos (as Gerard Depardieu)
Gabriel Byrne ... D'Artagnan
Anne Parillaud ... Queen Anne
Judith Godrèche ... Christine (as Judith Godreche)
Edward Atterton ... Lieutenant Andre
Peter Sarsgaard ... Raoul
Hugh Laurie ... King's Advisor
David Lowe ... King's Advisor
Brigitte Boucher Brigitte Boucher ... Madame Rotund
Matthew Jocelyn Matthew Jocelyn ... Assassin
Karine Belly Karine Belly ... Wench
Emmanuel Guttierez Emmanuel Guttierez ... King's Friend
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Storyline

Paris is starving, but the King of France is more interested in money and bedding women. When a young soldier dies for the sake of a shag, Aramis, Athos and Porthos band together with a plan to replace the king. Unknown to many, there is a 2nd king, a twin, hidden at birth, then imprisoned for 6 years behind an iron mask. All that remains now is D'Artagnan, will he stand against his long time friends, or do what is best for his country? Written by Leonardo DiCaprio

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For the honor of a king. And the destiny of a country. All for one.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and some sensuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

13 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man in the Iron Mask See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,271,450, 15 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$56,968,902

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$182,968,902
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a real masked prisoner at La Bastille, but rather than a twin brother, more recent conspiracy theories have him being Louis XIV's biological father. The official story of Louis' conception was that King Louis XIII, long separated from Queen Anne, was going to his hunting lodge and had packed stuff that he would need. It started raining and since the Queen had the only bed suitable for the King they slept together, conceiving the heir. The conspiracy theory is that Cardinal Richelieu convinced the Queen to have an affair with a "sperm donor," who then was sent off to Canada, but later returned to France and tried to extort money for his silence. The motive for the plan was that Richelieu feared that civil war would break out if the King died childless to be succeeded by his foolish brother Gaston. But the sperm donor theory is just hearsay and probably not true. Queen Anne might have had an affair, but she and Richelieu did not work together because they hated each other. Louis XIV also resembled Louis XIII enough to ensure to most people that he was a true biological son. See more »

Goofs

After the Jesuit is wounded, Christine leaves with Raoul, but exactly in the following shot, she appears behind Louis. See more »

Quotes

D'Artagnan: Anne, to love you is treason against France. But not to love you is treason against my heart.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When Philippe is in prison and Aramis comes disguised as a hugely fat friar to hear his confession and offer mass, Philippe kneels down and makes the sign of the cross. When the movie was released on VHS, Philippe's making the sign of the cross was left out. See more »

Connections

Version of The Man in the Iron Mask (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dumas would have been pleased (perhaps)
30 December 2005 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

This 1998 movie provides everything a swashbuckling cape-and-sword flick should - legendary heroes, a cruel villain, noble sentiments, touches of love and sex, some slapstick, picturesque scenery, sumptuous interiors and of course dashing swordplay (the last perhaps a little limited by the maturity of some of the principals).

It has also some reasonably intelligent dialogue, provided by writer/producer/director, Randall Wallace, and spoken in part by two of the finest voices in the business - Jeremy Irons (Athos) and John Malkovich (Aramis). Gerard Depardieu (Porthos) and Gabriel Byrne (D'Artangnan) are the other two of the original 3 + 1 Musketeers.

The villainy of the young King Louis 14 is provided by Leonardo DiCaprio, who may be too wishy-washy for some tastes, though he certainly has the veneer of elegance needed for the part. One niggle I have is, that it would have been better if he had been instructed to pronounce Athos either with a short a or a long a (preferably the former) and not alternate between the two.

The plot, like the Dumas novel on which it is based, has no less, and no more, credibility than is appropriate for this type of film - for anyone interested in the real events and rumours surrounding the Man in the Iron Mask, I recommend this website - http://www.royalty.nu/legends/IronMask.html

One aspect of the film I find amusing is that in this version of a quintessentially French story, the only French actor in the quartet of heroes, Gerard Depardieu, plays the part of a uncouth, lecherous buffoon; while an Englishman, an American and an Irishman provide the grace, heartfelt speeches and depth of character. I wonder how that went down with the audience in France.


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