The Man in the Iron Mask

( 1 )

Overview

Man in the Iron Mask is independent producer Edward Small's 1939 edition of the much-filmed Dumas classic. The title character is the rightful King of France, imprisoned by his pretender-to-the-throne twin brother both roles are played by Louis Hayward, with an uncredited Peter Cushing doubling for Hayward in the "over the back" shots. Warren William plays musketeer D'Artagnan, who rallies his now aged swashbuckling companions Porthos Alan Hale, Athos Bert Roach and Aramis Miles Mander, to rescue the real King, ...
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Overview

Man in the Iron Mask is independent producer Edward Small's 1939 edition of the much-filmed Dumas classic. The title character is the rightful King of France, imprisoned by his pretender-to-the-throne twin brother both roles are played by Louis Hayward, with an uncredited Peter Cushing doubling for Hayward in the "over the back" shots. Warren William plays musketeer D'Artagnan, who rallies his now aged swashbuckling companions Porthos Alan Hale, Athos Bert Roach and Aramis Miles Mander, to rescue the real King, whom they have raised from infancy. Director James Whale reserves a juicy cameo part for his old Frankenstein cohort Dwight "Renfield" Frye. Slightly hampered by a limited budget, Man in the Iron Mask was nonetheless popular enough to encourage producer Small to put together another literary derivation in 1940, The Son of Monte Cristo, utilizing many of the same sets.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Director James Whale's career and reputation had declined considerably by the end of the 1930s, but he was still more than enough of a highly-skilled craftsman to helm independent productions of this sort. The screenplay, as with most film adaptations of the Alexandre Dumas story, departs significantly from the book (which had enough twists and turns to fill several TV mini-series), mostly in the name of simplicity and maintaining the easy-to-identify heroism of the Musketeers. Even so, producer Edward Small didn't have the kind of money that MGM would have been able to put into a swashbuckler of this sort, but Whale had enough talent to make it look like he did. His clever and graceful camera moves (especially those dolly-shots) make the sets look twice as big and lavish as they ought to have, and his eye for characters and close-ups lends this movie a good level of emotional intensity, helped not a little bit by Louis Hayward's successful portrayal of a pair of identical (but emotionally and morally very different) twins. Joan Bennett's Infanta of Spain is not quite as central to the action as one would expect of the leading lady, but she makes the most of her scenes; and Warren William makes an excellent D'Artagnon, supported by Alan Hale, Miles Mander, and Bert Roach as the other aging Musketeers. And the action sequences are well-handled also, so that there is more than enough excitement to sustain the 110 minute running time. The picture is great fun and fine cinematic story-telling, with William's turn as D'Artagnon recalling both Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and John Barrymore at different points -- and at the risk of revealing too much, the last ride of the Musketeers makes for a suitably poignant and sentimental ending.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2012
  • UPC: 759731413428
  • Original Release: 1939
  • Rating:

  • Source: Henstooth Video
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,663

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Louis Hayward Louis XIV, Philippe
Joan Bennett Maria Theresa
Joseph Schildkraut Fouquet
Alan Hale Porthos
Warren William D'Artagnan
Miles Mander Aramis
Bert Roach Athos
Walter Kingsford Colbert
Montagu Love Spanish Ambassador
Doris Kenyon Queen Anne
Albert Dekker Louis XII
Reginald Barlow
Lane Chandler Palace Guard
D'Arcy Corrigan
Sheila D'Arcy
Nigel de Brulier
Dwight Frye
Emmett C. King
Bob Milasch
Wyndham Standing
Dorothy Vaughan Woman
Harry Woods King's Officer
Howard Brooks Cardinal
Fred Cavens Francois
Peter Cushing Bit Part
Boyd Irwin Royal High Constable
Ian MacLaren Valet de Chambre
Marion Martin Mlle. de la Valliere
William Royle Commandant of Bastille
Technical Credits
James Whale Director
Howard A. Anderson Special Effects
George Bruce Screenwriter
Lud Gluskin Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Lucien Moraweck Score Composer
Robert Planck Cinematographer
John DuCasse Schulze Art Director
Edward Small Producer
Grant Whytock Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Man in the Iron Mask
1. Start [10:14]
2. A New King [9:30]
3. Arranged Marriage [11:02]
4. Body Double [8:03]
5. Impersonation [12:15]
6. Betrothed [12:45]
7. Exiled [7:56]
8. A Rescue [9:22]
9. The Bastille [10:18]
10. New Rules [8:52]
11. Royal Wedding [10:27]
12. End Credits [:52]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Man in the Iron Mask
   Play Feature
   Scene Selection
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    Posted September 13, 2012

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