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The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, History, Romance | 13 July 1939 (USA)
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)
Reviews
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

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

Fouquet's statement that "we must all hang together, or we shall assuredly hang separately" is thought to have been spoken by Ben Franklin at the signing of the Declatation of Independence. See more »

Goofs

Louis XIV offers "a million Francs" (and other amounts). The Franc was not adopted as currency in France until the 19th Century. See more »

Quotes

D'Artagnan: We're through with running!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Well made independent
14 February 2010 | by michaeljaykleinSee all my reviews

All in all, a solid film with some excellent cinematography, uniformly excellent cast and good direction (except the romantic scenes--James Whale always was a bit stiff in that department). I thought the musical score was just adequate, even though it was nominated for an Oscar that year.

Blink and you miss Albert Dekker (credited) at the opening and Peter Cushing (credited and his first screen appearance) as one of the soldiers in the scene where the soldiers first encounter the musketeers (Cushing has no lines). Dwight Frye (not credited) can be spotted as a valet about 3/4's of the way in. He has a few lines but we are so used to seeing him as "Fritz" in Whale's Frankenstein movies that he's not easy to recognize (he's a little heavier looking in this film for one thing).

Hayward was a good choice for the dual roles. A good actor, there was always something rather unpleasant at times about his looks while at other times he looked quite handsome--I think he was used to great advantage here for that reason.

Almost all the leads were independent artists, not contracted to any particular studio, so it was rather weird seeing Warners' top character man Alan Hale in this (not that they give him a whole lot to do!) I'm guessing that some footage from the 1920s version of this film with Douglas Fairbanks was incorporated into at least one scene--the king showing the newborn prince from his balcony early in the film.

After seeing this, I began to wonder if Stan Lee or Jack Kirby did not draw inspiration for their "Dr. Doom" comic book character from the iron mask shown in this film.


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