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The Man in the Iron Mask (1977)

Richard Chamberlain , Patrick McGoohan , Mike Newell  |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan, Louis Jourdan, Jenny Agutter, Ian Holm
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Writers: Alexandre Dumas père, William Bast
  • Producers: Norman Rosemont, Roy Stevens
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SX7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,642 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Man in the Iron Mask" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair Verion of the Classic Dumas Tale January 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I was very impressed with this movie when I first saw it, a very long time ago. Richard Chamberlin was excellent in his dual role; it's hard to imagine a more egotistical and rotten Louis XIV than his portrayal- a much greater villian than Leonardo DiCaprio's performance. This version also has a stellar supporting cast, with Sir Ralph Richardson, Jenny Agutter, Louis Jourdan and playing the corrupt and foul Finance Minister Fouquet is Patrick McGoohan- an incredible actor who plays his part with relish. The chemistry between Chamberlin and McGoohan is unbelievable- you can easily believe that these two would plot to start World War III just to have something interesting to do on a Saturday night, and maybe make a few million francs on the side. But the end scene, the conversation between Phillipe and the Queen as they dance the minuet before the whole court, is the icing on the cake- delicious, dramatically satisfying and unforgettable. This scene alone is better than the whole 1997 Leonardo DiCaprio movie. It doesn't follow the book, but it's a good movie to introduce the younger set to the wonders of great literature. And this is worth something. Following the movie too closely, after all, satisfies most only those who have read the book first. The individual imagination is still the best filmmaker, and I think that any film that makes you want to run out and buy the book is not a bad film. This is the best version of this story available, and worth having in your library.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Chamberlain is excellent May 5, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Richard Chamberlain had already proved himself a fine actor before starring in this TV production of "The Man in the Iron Mask," but here he truly gives the performance of a lifetime. Performances, I should say, because he plays two different (VERY different) roles: King Louis XIV and his long lost twin brother, Phillippe.

Louis is a spoiled, infantile (his courtiers know perfectly well to deliberately lose at croquet lest they "risk another tantrum") and often cruel man, who lives in splendor while his subjects starve. He treats his long-suffering wife like garbage, openly flirting and carrying on with other women, and at one point he even viciously rips her wig off in public after calling her a "mountain of sallow flesh." Not surprisingly, no one likes Louis all that much; even his mother is hard pressed to say anything nice about him.

Meanwhile, Phillippe, totally unaware of his relation to Louis, is mysteriously kidnapped from his cozy home and thrown into the Bastille. But it's not what you think -- his kidnappers are the ageing Three Musketeers, who, fed up with their "water lily" of a ruler, have a plan to oust him and replace him with his identical twin, Phillippe. (Though Phillippe was born first and is therefore the rightful king, they insist that he rule as Louis XIV because of France's instability.) The Bastille was a "safe place" to stash Phillippe, or so they thought; at least two people, upon accidentally seeing Phillippe, are struck by his resemblance to Louis. One of them reports to Fouquet, the king's closest adviser. Upon verifying Phillippe's identity, Fouquet breaks the news to Louis, who, quite rightly fearing usurpation, hatches a cruel plan: imprisoning Phillippe for life in a run down castle in a distant part of France.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scripting, acting, and dialogue August 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
In an age where action is becoming more important than story, this version of The Man in the Iron Mask has refreshingly excellent acting and dialogue.
Chamberlain did well in this movie in his dual role, and equally well the other TV movie he made at nearly the same time, The Count of Monte Cristo. Patrick McGoohan and Ralph Richardson could not have been more perfectly cast as the dishonest Fouquet and the scheming Colbert, respectively, and the acting all-around was superb.
The score was decent, but entirely forgettable. The action scenes will excite no one, as all fighting is done with obviously plastic swords, and very little dramatic dying goes on. Most of the action and fencing goes on in court, which the ensemble cast (thank God) proved fully capable of doing.
And that, of course, is where this film really shines: at the court of Louis XIV. The pomp and cruel subtleties are conveyed very well, and the unattentive viewer will probably miss a lot. The royal 'we' is employed unselfconsciously by Newell, whereas the latest adaption seems hesitant to use such a little-known speech mannerism with the "uneducated" public. In one particularly well-done scene, Fouquet reveals to Louis that his brother, Philippe, is still alive. While initially respectful to the King, Fouquet asserts his power over Philippe, and thus over Louis, culminating in sitting down while Louis remains standing, normally something that Louis might be fickle enough to execute someone for.
If you want great acting and story rather than great action, this movie comes highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) October 26, 2007
The Man in the Iron Mask (1977)

Richard Chamberlain .... King Louis XIV/Philippe
Patrick McGoohan .... Fouquet
Louis Jourdan .... D'Artagnan
Jenny Agutter .... Louise de la Vallière
Ian Holm .... Duval
Ralph Richardson .... Colbert de Voliere
Vivien Merchant .... Queen Maria Theresa
Brenda Bruce .... Queen Anna of Austria
Esmond Knight .... Armand
Godfrey Quigley .... Baisemeaux
Emrys James .... Percerin
Denis Lawson .... Claude
Ann Zelda .... Henriette
Hugh Fraser .... Montfleury
Stacy Davis .... Blacksmith

Richard Chamberlain heads an internationally famed cast in this extravagant compelling production of Alexander Dumas classic.
In the tour de force of great acting, Richard 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. This performance supported by an all-star cast, sweeps the story of high adventure and romance and new heights.

In 1661, France stirs restlessly under the rule of the ineffectual King Louis XIV, a weak monarch manipulated by the devious Nicolas Fouquet, his finance minister who virtually held the string of power. However, Captain of the Musketeers D' Artagnan and Home Affairs Minister Cobert are determined that France shall have a real King. They have found Louis' identical twin brother Phillipe and plan to put him on the throne. Rightful heir to the throne, he is spirited away from birth for political motives and is ignorant of his identity. D'Artagnan and Colbert have had him taken to a cell for safety.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Patrick McGoohan
Bought because I wanted to see McGoohan do the fight on top of the clff. Enjoyed the story because I like Dumas. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Peggy Moshell
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rightful Heir
You can only hold someone one down but for so long. Truth will prevail and the RIGHTFUL HEIR will get the CROWN!

Published 2 months ago by M. Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
it's an old movie and the only one about this subject i really liked. this is one i remembered from when it was first on tv.
Published 4 months ago by marvalicious
1.0 out of 5 stars Actually this movie was returned because I could not view it on my DVD...
I have seen the movie and had a copy on VHS and have seen on tv and wanted a dvd to add to my collection. Read more
Published 5 months ago by patricia gorka
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD for Region 1 (the U.S.), please??!
Could you please put out a DVD version of this Wonderful movie for Region 1 (the U.S.)??! I loved watching this movie years ago and would love to have a copy on DVD. Thank you.
Published 8 months ago by J. West
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great and better than the remake
Even after all these years this movie is still an absolute keeper! Richard Chamberlain was perfect in the dual role. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Laurel A Dudgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but a goodie
If the only version of this movie you've seen is the one with Leonardo DiCaprio, you're in for a treat... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Roberta Cram
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
I've always loved this movie, and I'm so happy to finally have it on DVD! I highly recommend this movie!
Published 10 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Story, faithfully told
No bad language of any kind, no bed room trash either!
It kept me interested from start to finish! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alan D. Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!
I had a copy at one time of this movie, but I sold it. I was able to find the movie again. This movie is better than the Leonardo Dicaprio version. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Melanie Tullis
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