The Man in the Iron Mask

March 13, 1998 0 By Fans
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Still of Gabriel Byrne, Gérard Depardieu, Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich in The Man in the Iron MaskStill of Leonardo DiCaprio and Randall Wallace in The Man in the Iron MaskStill of Gabriel Byrne and Anne Parillaud in The Man in the Iron MaskStill of Leonardo DiCaprio and Judith Godrèche in The Man in the Iron MaskStill of Leonardo DiCaprio and John Malkovich in The Man in the Iron MaskStill of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask


The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 6.2/10 (55,322 voted)

Critic's Score: 48/100

Randall Wallace

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich

Paris is starving, but the King of France is more interested in money and bedding women. When a young soldier dies for the sake of a shag, Aramis, Athos and Porthos band together with a plan to replace the king. Unknown to many, there is a 2nd king, a twin, hidden at birth, then imprisoned for 6 years behind an iron mask. All that remains now is D'Artagnan, will he stand against his long time friends, or do what is best for his country?

Writers: Alexandre Dumas père, Randall Wallace


Leonardo DiCaprio

King Louis XIV

Jeremy Irons


John Malkovich


Gérard Depardieu


Gabriel Byrne


Anne Parillaud

Queen Mother Anne

Judith Godrèche


(as Judith Godreche)

Edward Atterton

Lt. Andre

Peter Sarsgaard


Hugh Laurie

King's Advisor

David Lowe

King's Advisor

Brigitte Boucher

Madame Rotund

Matthew Jocelyn


Karine Belly


Emmanuel Guttierez

King's Friend

For the honor of a king. And the destiny of a country. All for one.


Official Website:

Release Date: 13 March 1998

Filming Locations: Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000


Opening Weekend: $17,271,450
(15 March 1998)
(3101 Screens)

Gross: $182,968,902

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Louis XIV did have a brother named Philippe, but he was not a twin. He was several years younger.


In the (young) King Louis XIV's bedroom we can see a portrait of Louis XIV when he was about 50.


Lt. Andre:
Musketeers, SALUTE
[they raise flags and draw swords into an arch]


User Review

A film done with pride and conviction…

Rating: 9/10

Without ever attaining indisputable literary merit, Alexandre Dumas,
succeeded in gaining a great reputation first as a dramatist and then
as a historical novelist, especially for such works as 'The Count of
Monte Cristo,' and 'The Three Musketeers.' He was among the first,
along with Honoré de Balzac and Eugène Sue, who fully presented a rich,
detailed picture of life in early 19th century – France, creating
characters of formidable individuality and willpower…

'The Man in the Iron Mask' takes place in 1662, where a spoiled young
king rules in decadent luxury while his subjects are starving in the
streets… His armies fight unjust wars… His selfish actions result
in deep resentment by the people… He is currently under siege by
rebellions… His tyrannical disposition prompts the original 'Three
Musketeers' to believe that France will never prosper unless a change
is made… Our musketeers have all grown into middle age, and their
exploits have become legendary…

When the son of Athos is sent to the front lines of battle, and killed
the aging 'Three Musketeers' (Athos, Porthos and Aramis ) are forced to
haul out their old uniforms into active rebellion against the crown…
They come up with a plan to expel the tyrant from his throne… A
carefully guarded secret works to their advantage…

Aramis knows of an enigmatic Bastille prisoner, a helpless victim of
the king's justice, whose true identity and existence is unknown to
most… This mysterious young man has been thrown into loneliness and
pain in a dungeon for six years, forced to wear an affixed iron mask so
no-one can notice how much he looks like the king…

In a risky maneuver to save France, the 'Three Musketeers' break the
title character out of prison, teach him to behave exactly like the
king, and then set off to make the 'switch' in a masquerade ball…

As their plan unfolds, they must confront their friend, the great
D'Artagan, one-time "fourth Musketeer," now head of the king's
bodyguards, who has sworn an oath to protect the king with his life…

DiCaprio plays two characters so distinctly and effectively that you
absolutely hate one and love the other…

He is King Louis, a non-caring leader who lets his subjects starve and
riot in the streets of Paris… He is a vile ice-hearted seducer mostly
interested in bedding attractive young women… He displays, with
talent, King Louis' arrogance and cruelty… DiCaprio is also the
gentle Philippe, the polar opposite of Louis… Philippe has the heart
of a king, with eyes asking too much…

Gerard Depardieu is delightful as the old and weak Porthos, the
womanizer, more concerned with the pains of growing older… Porthos
feels useless unable even to "straighten his sword" when in the hay
with three women…

John Malkovich is the straightforward Athos, now an impulsive widower
and an angry father who has his own need for revenge against the King's
treachery… Two time Oscar nominee for "Places in the Heart" and "In
the Line of Fire," Malkovich makes the point that ideally, they should
have a king worthy of their service…

Jeremy Irons is the contemplative Aramis, the justice leader of a
silent rebellion…. As the Jesuits oppose Louis' wars, and the
starvation that results, Aramis is ordered to discover the true
identity of the general of the Jesuit's order and to execute him… In
one moment, Jeremy Irons (an Oscar winner for 1990's "Reversal of
Fortune"), dignifies the true mission of a Musketeer when he states:
'When we were young men, and we saw injustice, we fought it!'

Gabriel Byrne is the faithful D'Artagnan who carries a mysterious
secret with him… His dark romantic secrets are hidden in his sad
look… Byrne has the right combination of gravity and flair for the
conflicted D'Artagnan, especially in the scene where he placates an
angry mob… He projects his character's romantic frustration and his
crisis of conscience, and desperately tries to find a balance between
his loyalty to the king and his ability to live up to the code of the

Anne Parillaud is the twins' mother, Anne d'Autriche, torn between her
passion and her maternal love toward a son completely far from the path
of compassion and honor…

Judith Godrèche is the damsel in distress, the beautiful Christine torn
between being faithful to her dead love and helping out her poor family
by basically selling her body to a lusting king…

The film's authenticity and visual presentation are as glorious in the
decadent luxury surrounding the King of France as grotesque in the
terrible place occupied by the man in the iron mask…

Randall Wallace (Oscar-nominated for "Braveheart's" script) brings the
great palace of Versailles to life with elegance and finesse… The
beauty of the gardens defies verbal explanation… The music is
beautiful and epic, and the motion picture is done with pride and

The masked prisoner actually existed in reality… But his identity was
never known and it's of little consequence here… The film, however,
is not exactly faithful when it comes to historical facts… It has
been created for pleasant entertainment purposes… Louis XIV of
France, whose great prestige earned him the title of 'the Sun King',
ruled France in one of its most brilliant periods and remains the
symbol of absolute monarchy of the classic age…