The Man in the Iron Mask
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Top Customer Reviews
As for the picture quality on this blu ray release - it is simply outstanding! With 1080p, in High Definition and 16x9 Widescreen, the definition is razor sharp with hues and flesh tones spot on. The DVD release enjoys the same outstanding picture quality with 16x9 Anamorphic (1.78:1). They did a beautiful job restoring this long awaited release (for Richard Chamberlain fans) and I have no reservations giving this 5 stars.
Purchase with confidence - I'm very pleased to have this in my blu ray collection. Subtitles included for the hearing impaired in English.
MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Run Time: 105 Minutes
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the version because the acting is better than the newer version. The costumes are more exciting also.Published 6 days ago by Lita Hardy
One of the best versions around. So sorry it wasn't available for purchase.Published 18 days ago by Madonna M. Hood
I first saw this movie on TV as a kid and loved it. It still holds up after all these years. This movie was a hit with my nieces and nephews, ages 7-11. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Cynara's Shadow
Newer version of this movie. Matt Damon did a great job acting. Enjoyed the movie.Published 3 months ago by Marlene
Richard Chamberlain does not give a bad performance in any of the "costume dramas" he appears in; and this movie is no exception. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stephen Confait