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on 24 April 2015
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 September 2013
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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VINE VOICEon 23 July 2017
I enjoyed this film as a simple escapist story - much as Dumas probably intended his original novels - and rather liked the way Richard Chamberlain played the effete and ruthless 'first' Louis XIV, and the contrasting pleasant, generous and gentle 'second' king. Jenny Agutter acquits herself well as Louise de la Vallière (whose inclusion is unhistorical but this whole romance is total fiction), very pretty and charming. Patrick MacGoohan was rather miscast as Fouquet, and Louis Jourdan ineffective as d'Artagnan, but Ralph Richardson played Colbert with conviction and Vivien Merchant was particularly good as the hard-done-by wife Maria Theresa.

An ideal Saturday matinee for a wet afternoon!
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on 12 January 2018
Very good 1976 colour film starring Richard Chamberlain (who had starred in the dramatic "The Count of Monte Christo" the year before). The villain is Patrick McGoohan ("Danger Man" and "The Prisoner" on TV). The subsequent 1998 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio softened the ending in the final voiceover to be less cruel. Richard Chamberlain had became very popular in earlier days as "Dr Kildare" on USA Television (Black & White) in the 1960s.
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on 7 April 2016
Brilliant film excellent picture and sound they don't make them like this any more also quick despatch and delivery.
thanks Graham.
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on 20 January 2018
In my top ten films to watch if i ever catch it on the tellybox. A real classic. Took a while to come but happy with the product.
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on 23 February 2014
Ordered this dvd for my mum as she is a huge fan of this movie, service was prompt and i would order from Arco Celeste again, the quality of the dvd is really good and it can be viewed in both spanish and english, i had emailed the company before hand to ask this and i received an email back within minutes, so great feedback if your not sure of anything, big thumbs up to Arco Celeste for this dvd as i was searching for this movie for months, so thanks guys,
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on 24 October 2014
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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on 27 August 2016
Good adaptation. Not totally to the book but Richard Chamberlain is excellent in it.
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on 12 May 2017
Great version of the story.
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