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The Iron Mistress


List Price: $19.99
Price: $16.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Editorial Reviews

Homespun bayou lad Jim Bowie (Alan Ladd) is learning the courtly ways of 1825 Southern society. He's wearing only the finest suits and cravats. Proving himself in business and at the gaming table. And should the occasion call, keeping handy the specially made blade - tempered with meteorite steel - that would make his name forever a part of American lore. Yet despite Bowie's prowess in a world of dandies and ruffians, he may be overmatched in the ways of the heart: he's fallen for lovely Jubalon (Virginia Mayo), the magnolia belle fancied by men of means from Natchez to New Orleans. Will her beauty be the only weapon more powerful than Bowie's Iron Mistress blade?

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Ladd, Virginia Mayo, Joseph Calleia, Phyllis Kirk, Alf Kjellin
  • Directors: Gordon Douglas
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003552QUY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,191 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Iron Mistress" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on November 3, 2009
Format: DVD
It's a great movie about the early life of James Bowie. We see the historical Sandbar Fight where Bowie was almost killed. The Sandbar Fight also gave rise to the famous Bowie knife. In the movie we see Bowie (Alan Ladd) design the knife and getting a blacksmith to forge it.
There's also romance in the movie, where the female part is played by the gorgeous Virginia Mayo.

We don't see anything of Bowie's life in Texas nor his death at the Alamo. The movie ends with Bowie going to Texas, but another movie picks up where Iron Mistress ends. It's called, "The Last Command", and it deals with Bowie's life and death in Texas, starring Sterling Hayden as Bowie.

But why pay $39.93 from an Amazon seller when you can get it for $19.95 from Warner Brothers?
The Iron Mistress is available on DVD through the WB web site. It's part of the Warner Archive
collection of DVD's and downloads you can order. I was just in there and and saw it listed For $19.95 You can also see a clip of it to check the picture quality. I did and it was first rate. Go to, [...] and click on Warner Archive.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on November 28, 2009
Format: DVD
1952's "The Iron Mistress", while certainly a 'B' movie, is romantic, violent, and wonderful entertainment, particularly if you're a fan of Alan Ladd. Based on Paul Wellman's novel of the life of legendary entrepreneur/adventurer Jim Bowie (of knife and Alamo fame), the film limits the story to Bowie's early life, from his impoverished days on the bayou with his brothers and mother, to his marriage to the Mexican Governor of San Antonio's daughter (the beautiful Phyllis Kirk). Along the way, he befriends famed artist/naturalist John James Audubon (George Voskovec), and falls for a petty, but beautiful New Orleans belle (Virginia Mayo), whose high station in society inspires him earn a fortune, to win her hand. Despite his success amassing riches in real estate speculation, his hopes are dashed, and he's the target of the dueling, aristocratic elite, ultimately inspiring him to design a revolutionary, deadly knife, forged from the steel of a falling star ("a bit of heaven...and of hell").

The film bears little resemblance to the historic Bowie's life (the famous knife was actually designed by his brother, Rezin), and ignores his slave-running, embezzling, and other less-savory pursuits. Still, Ladd (whose career was waning, before "Shane") gives an excellent performance, both as a man of action, and as the victim of Mayo's whims. Veteran director Gordon Douglas succeeds in making a modestly-budgeted film look opulent, aided by Max Steiner's wonderful, period-flavored score.

If you are looking for a film about Jim Bowie's life in Texas, and his death at the Alamo, Republic Pictures' 1955 release, "The Last Command", while not a sequel to "The Iron Mistress" in any way, does cover this period (with giant Sterling Hayden in the Bowie role).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chuck M on December 28, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is Alan Ladd's best (even better than Shane in this person's estimation). An excellent film! I gave a copy to both my son-in-laws for Christmas. They're young and have never come in contact with too many movies like this. The title is not that well known, for sure . . . but as far as this viewer is concerned . . . this is one my 20 best. I saw it in the theater when it first came out and never forgot it. GREAT MOVIE!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Remington on October 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is about the early life of Jim Bowie. If you love knives and appreciate American history you will love this movie! Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo were both superb. The Bowie knife that was used in this film was the one that was used in John Wayne's Alamo, as well as other Hollywood films. They recently started making a replica of this knife that is for sale under the name "Hollywood Bowie". Yes it is a beauty and a beast. This film leaves me wishing, every time I watch it, that Hollywood would make a new up dated accurate film about the life of Jim Bowie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gene M. Benner on March 9, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
While not historically correct, the story is very entertaining. The time period was very turbulent and "colorful". This is a very good movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. T. Hicks on December 24, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of the classics!
Virginia Mayo is lovely and Alan Ladd is tough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cobber Tom on January 3, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Further to my email of this morning. The postman arrived at 11.30 and left our package containing this DVD.

We have watched it through, and we both remember seeing this film at our local cinemas in the early 1950's. It portrays the struggles of an ordinary working class man against the prejudices of the upper classes, even in the great land of opportunity, America. Why do American film makers have to kill so many characters in their stories, just to prove their superiority? In the words of Barack Obama, “a culture of death. “
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Courdlion on April 6, 2014
Format: DVD
Loosely based on Paul Wellman's novel of the same name. Alan Ladd is good, as usual; a little small for Jim Bowie though. Virginia Mayo is the perfect bitch; never cared for her- in my opinion any movie with her loses. The story has some exciting parts; knife fights etc, but fails with Bowie throwing his knife into the Mississippi River. Seems as though they ran out of money and had to end the movie quickly. Too bad, it could have been a classic instead of a casualty. Read the book, if you can find it. You will enjoy it much more.
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