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The Man In The Iron Mask

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jenny Agutter, Ralph Richardson, Louis Jourdan Richard Chamberlain.Patrick McGoohan
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Format: Colour, Full length
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Studio: PRISM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007GAL72W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,880 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Richard Chamberlain heads an internationally famed cast in this extravagant and beautifully compelling production of the Alexandre Dumas classic. In a tour de force of great acting Chamberlain plays the dual role of the imprisoned man in the hideous iron mask and his foppish, elegant twin brother, King Louis XIV of France. Chamberlain's performance, supported by an all-star cast, sweeps the story of high-adventure and romance to new heights. Lavishly filmed at historic locations in France, The Man In The Iron Mask is gripping, fast-moving, magnificent entertainment for the whole family.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of a series of US TV movies with all-star casts that Norman Rosemont produced in the 70s which got cinema releases in some countries, 1976's The Man in the Iron Mask is a highly enjoyable take on Dumas' old warhorse that benefits from some excellent casting and surprisingly lavish production values. Despite playing Aramis in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers, this time round Richard Chamberlain takes the dual roles of the dissolute and decadent King Louis XIV of France and his twin brother Philippe, who has been locked away in the Bastille, his face hidden behind an iron mask lest he pose a threat to his rule, with the connivance of Patrick McGoohan's evil courtier Fouquet. This time round the Musketeers are represented by Louis Jourdan's D'artagnan, who rescures him and plans to replace the bad twin with the good twin - if he can somehow teach the unsophisticated prisoner enough etiquette to pass himself off as royalty. There's not much action, but some thoroughly entertaining storytelling livened up by an excellent cast that also includes Jenny Agutter (you can tell this was intended for TV by the fact it's one of the few films she made in the 70s where she keeps her clothes on), Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm, Vivien Merchant and Esmond Knight, although Freddie Young's photography of the French locations is surprisingly ordinary. Highly enjoyable.
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I saw this years ago and remember it as good. I bought it recently and rewatched and yes, it is still good, and Chamberlain is splendid as as the dual character. But it is sombre and the finale is very scary and made me think just how shocking and unbearable it must have been for the original "man in the iron mask". Dumas discovered a note had been found when the Bastille was taken by the populace at the start of the French Revolution, that referred to "the man in the iron mask" and a prisoner number. So far as I know, nothing more was ever learned about this prisoner. This movie shows just how appalling such a fate would be. The original book is atmospheric enough but Chamberlain brings this to terrifying life.

I personally much prefer the quite lighthearted version (the story somewhat changed) with the same title but starring Jeremy Irons and others. My favourite musketeer is always Aramis, and Irons is a simply brilliant Aramis, bringing out just how clever Aramis is and how ambitious and brilliant.

Unfortunately, the only one of our musketeer heroes to appear in this Chamberlain Man in the Iron Mask is d'Artagnan and his original actions in the Dumas story are much changed. The script is manged well to ensure it all makes sense, but it isn't the original story and the lack of Aramis in particular as the grand schemer, and the lack of what happens to Athos and most particularly to Porthos is very unfortunate.

I imagine there were budgetary issues that made the producers cut the story to the bare minimum and on that level if's excellent.

Yes, there is a problem for me as doubtless for some others that Chamberlain had earlier played Aramis in the Lester version of the Three Musketeers.... it's a bit disconcerting to see the same actor as now the royal twins. Given a choice, I prefer Chamberlain in this movie as in the Lester movie he was a bit too tall, although he acted the part with perfect humour and charm.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was the 1970's TV version, and all the better for that in my opinion - stunning sets and costumes, some lovely music, and good solid acting: Richard Chamberlain does a great job in the dual role, and there are fine performances from Jenny Agutter, Ian Holm, Vivien Merchant and Brenda Bruce. Patrick McGoohan is rather a "Boo and Hiss" pantomime baddie, but that just adds to the pleasure of seeing him come to grief. This DVD is visually very good, but I was disappointed not to have subtitles.
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Great film. The classic versions of Alexander Dumas stories are the best. I would recommend watching the The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers staring Oliver Reed, Micheal York et al.

It is a shame they have not brought out the The Return of Musketeers staring the same actors on DVD.
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Format: DVD
Richard Chamberlain's tour de force efforts in two roles receives its first airing on DVD - and fans won't be disappointed.
However, it would have been great if a few extra features had been added, for example movie trailers (it was a TV movie in the States but had a theatrical release in Europe), or a director's commentary.
That aside, The Man in the Iron Mask remains one of the best adaptations of Alexandre Dumas's work.
Special mention should also go to co-stars Patrick McGoohan (a delightful baddie), Ralph Richardson and a very young Denis Lawson for their excellent performances.
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Format: DVD
I saw this made for TV movie on channel 4 today and I was quite impressed with it and I preferred this one more than the Leonardo Di Caprio version, because this one had more of a story to it. The movie also has wonderful scenery and cinematography which was filmed mostly in France and their is an interesting cast, including Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan and Louis Jourdan. But I thought Richard Chamberlain's multiple role was quite tame and I thought that Patrick McGoohan had no enthusiasm as the villain. But Louis Jourdan steals the movie, which he does a great performance as D'Artagan. Their are a few swordfights throughout the film and Chamberlain and Jourdan show the audience that they are born for these types of roles, which they also starred together in the 1975 made for TV version of the "Count of monte cristo", which is also worth watching. If you have not seen this watchable Alexandre Dumas version, it's worth watching and I hope you enjoy it.
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