Douglas Fairbanks at his best. One of the great epic adventures of silent cinema.


The Iron Mask is an adaptation of the last section of the 1847-1850 novel The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père, which is itself based on the French legend of the Man in the Iron Mask. King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son who will become an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for revolution, and has him sent off to Spain to be raised in secret to ensure a peaceful future for France. Alas, keeping the secret means sending Constance, lover of D'Artagnan, off to a convent. D'Artagnan hears of this and rallies the Musketeers in a bid to rescue her…

Though until recently it was usually shown in a silent version, The Iron Mask was the first talking picture starring Douglas Fairbanks as a part-talkie film. Fairbanks lavished resources on his final silent film, with the knowledge he was bidding farewell to his beloved genre. This marks the only time where Fairbanks's character dies at the end of the film, with the closing scene depicting the once-again youthful Musketeers all reunited in death, moving on (as the final title says) to find "greater adventure beyond".

Fairbanks Biographer Jeffrey Vance has opined, "As a valedictory to the silent screen, The Iron Mask is unsurpassed. In one of his few departures from playing a young man—and with fewer characteristic stunts—Fairbanks conjures up his most multi-dimensional and moving screen portrayal in a film that is perhaps the supreme achievement of its genre."

he Iron Mask was the first talking picture starring Douglas Fairbanks as a part-talkie film. Fairbanks lavished resources on his final silent film, with the knowledge he was bidding farewell to his beloved genre.

The Soundtrack

The Iron Mask was Caspervek's first foray into the adventure films of Douglas Fairbanks. The score attempts to blend Caspervek's own style with the adventure music of the great productions of old Hollywood and with elements of medieval music. It was premiered in Vigo in 2016 with successive performances in the town of Allariz. The film is awaiting a re-release with a new line-up in 2022.


Episode

Details

  • Director

    Allan Dwan

  • Writer

    Jack Cunningham
    Douglas Fairbanks
    Alexandre Dumas (novel)

  • Runtime

    85 min

  • Year

    1929

  • Country

    USA

  • Company

    United Artists


Cast

Douglas Fairbanks

Mageritte de la Motte

William Bakewell


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