: : : The Man in the Iron Mask

Story

Footnotes in movie books are likely to reduce this swashbuckling adventure down to a simple description: it was the first movie to star Leonardo DiCaprio after the phenomenal success of Titanic. As such it automatically attracted a box-office stampede of Leo's young female fans, but critical reaction was deservedly mixed. Having earned his directorial debut after writing the Oscar-winning script for Mel Gibson's Braveheart, Randall Wallace wrote and directed this ambitious version of the often-filmed classic novel by Alexandre Dumas. DiCaprio plays dual roles as the despotic King Louis XIV, who rules France with an iron fist, and the king's twin brother, Philippe, who languishes in prison under an iron mask, his identity concealed to prevent an overthrow of Louis' throne. But Louis' abuse of power ultimately enrages Athos (John Malkovich), one of the original Four Musketeers, who recruits his former partners (Gabriel Byrne, Gérard Depardieu, and Jeremy Irons) in a plot to liberate Philippe and install him as the king's identical replacement. Once this plot is set in motion and the Musketeers are each given moments in the spotlight, the film kicks into gear and offers plenty of entertainment in the grand style of vintage swashbucklers. But it's also sidetracked by excessive length and disposable subplots, and for all his post-Titanic star power, the boyish DiCaprio just isn't yet "man" enough to be fully convincing in his title role. Still, this is an entertaining movie, no less enjoyable for falling short of the greatness to which it aspired. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Commentary by director Randall Wallace
  • Alternate mask prototypes and conceptual drawings
  • 8-page booklet featuring trivia, production notes and a revealing look at the making of the movie

Cast

Leonardo DiCaprioKing Louis XIV/Philippe
Jeremy IronsAramis
John MalkovichAthos
Gerard DepardieuPorthos
Gabriel ByrneD'Artagnan
Anne ParillaudQueen Mother Anne
Judith GodrècheChristine (as Judith Godreche)
Edward AttertonLt. Andre
Peter SarsgaardRaoul
Hugh LauireKing's Advisor
David LoweKing's Advisor
Brigitte BoucherMadame Rotund
Matthew JocelynAssassin
Karine BellyWench
Emmanuel GuttierezKing's Friend
Laura FraserBedroom Beauty

  • Genre: Adventure Movies
  • Theme(s): Historical, Medieval
  • Director: Randall Wallace
  • Producer: MGM/UA
  • Length: 172 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMar 13, 1998
    EuropeMar 20, 1998
    JapanAug 8, 1998
    AustraliaApr 2, 1998
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe12
    AustraliaM
  • Blu-ray Release
    North AmericaMay 11, 2010
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMar 6, 2001
    EuropeFeb 1, 2000
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