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Plot: 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? Runtime: 132 mins Release Date: 12 Mar 1998
When this film started playing in theaters in March 1998, I thought: this is going to be another overrated film that Leo Di Caprio is in...so I avoided going to see it. But I decided to rent it yesterday, since I was in the mood to watch a period film. Was I surprised! I really enjoyed watching this film. Although it did have a few flaws here and there, it is still a very worthwhile and enjoyable film. The costumes were nice, yes, but the sets were even better. The cinematography was outstanding. Who cares if it "was not true" to the Alexandre Dumas novel--film adaptions of famous <more>
novels never are true to the books. This film didn't do so well at the box office because it started playing in theaters at a time when all of the Titanic hype was still taking place. Perhaps The Man in the Iron Mask should've been released in the fall of 98--I bet more people would've gone to see it in theaters. If you haven't seen this film, rent it. It's both an enjoyable story and a visual wonder. See it at least twice!
Much better than I expected!!! (by ParagonFreedly)
I was wary... VERY WARY... due to the fact of DiCaprio's role s .... Anything was better than the book however.... The musketeers were incredibly well-cast, Irons making up for my original hostility for Aramis and Malkovich, Depardieu, and Byrne giving me greater reason to respect these four men of chivalry and honour. Lee D. on the other hand.... well, what can I say? He downplayed both characters, with Philippe is was immensely effective, with LouisXIV a travesty of performing. The mask was perhaps the most attractive bit of metal put together in any movie version. Besides the initial <more>
appearance, it looked the most "functional." After I swallowed my Pride and Prejudice I rented it, watched it, thought about it, then bought it. Can I say more? Accurate costuming, GREAT SCRIPT!!! A great movie for a "video-rental night."
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 Musketeers... 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 GodrÃ¨che 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 conviction...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...
Still one of my favourite escapist or inspiring films! (by Lammasuswatch)
OK, if you're a stickler for accuracy in retelling French history, you're going to have problems with this film. The same goes for anyone who wants a script close to the content of Dumas' book. There are quite significant deviations from both.Having said that, the story that this movie DOES tell is logically consistent, satisfying and inspiring within itself. And actually possibly an improvement on Dumas' last Musketeers novel, which rather gets lost along its way at times. And isn't exactly history either! In fact, the first time I saw this movie on its cinema release I <more>
rated it as one of my favourite films, and it still is one of my favourite escapist or inspiring movies. It was never going to be an award winner, or a "most important story" told in film. But the story does have a significant moral to it, there are 'journeys of discovery' made by various characters, the authentic music and settings are great, the acting from such a skilled cast is mostly excellent and the last 15 minutes are especially inspiring and heartstring-tugging.Of the principal actors, Gabriel Byrne and Jeremy Irons shine. They are totally convincing, with Byrne really showing his capabilities. And the pleasure of hearing Irons deliver his lines is almost worth the price of admission to any of his films. Depardieu is mainly the comic relief, but he does it well. Leonardo DiCaprio, who when this film was released was one of my least favourite actors of all time, pleasantly surprised me by showing that he could act after all, managing to convey two very different but related characters pretty convincingly. John Malkovitch I know as a great actor, but often in this film I found him the least convincing of any of the main characters, definitely the odd man out. Much more than DiCaprio, his broad American accent just doesn't seem to fit with all the other surroundings. Or was it because he seemed to be half-asleep when delivering some of his lines?Other reviewers have similarly talked about the weird mix of accents, with supposed French characters voicing British, American and rather pronounced Franglais accents. It was only distracting for me after several viewings - I don't particularly recall this on my first viewing, which left me enthralled. For all except perhaps devoted linguistic pedants the willing suspension of disbelief should suffice, and the accents question certainly doesn't detract from letting good actors tell a good story. The Musketeers are supposed to represent an inspiring ideal of loyalty to one another, and to an ideal France in the form of its King. This film certainly expresses the disappointment of many of the people already with the excesses and abuses of royalty and nobility which would lead to the French Revolution about 125 years later. Athos voices the common dream, "...that one day we would finally be able to serve a king who was worthy of the throne". Unfortunately, few of the kings of France up to this point and beyond would qualify for this description. Nor, in reality, would Louis XIV despite the feel-good voice-over at the end.But the real history is not the point. Did you worry about the reality of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? Real truths about the human condition are told in fiction, rather than non-fiction. And by the last "All for One, One for All", most viewers will be moved and wanting to cheer along with the Musketeers.
The true reason why Alexandre Dumas' epic of the Musqueteers is as unforgettable as the fairy tales of Andersen, Grimm and Aesop, is of course because everyone is a musketeer. As we all know, the three friends are really one person. Aren't we all one of the other, hoping with the passion and vigor of an Athos to combine the love of the flesh and savoir-vivre of Porthos with the wisdom and contemplation of an Aramis.D'Artagnan is the hope in achieving that equilibrium. This tale has been filmed almost 500 times. Coming soon will be a megalomaniac attempt of prototype American Peter <more>
Hyams, which will be a film completely opposite of THIS glorious picture-tale. Where Hyams, as always, searches for the special effect and too grand but empty gestures, this film is about people. Heros alright, but people with their weaknesses none the less. Those who love the swashbuckling epics, see this film because it is lovely even though the fighting is restrained. People who hate the swashbuckling genre please don't miss this wonderful film, with a superb cast and wonderful art-direction. Maybe one day we will have the ultimate '3 Musketeers', which will mean that the three friends will be played by one truly great actor. Watch this film over and over again and wonder ... should it have been Malkovich or Depardieu ? Irons maybe ? All playing wonderful here in the sequel, based on Dumas' other Musketeer novels. The answer maybe lays within this film. If 'we' hurry, maybe Gabriel Byrne can play this 'All for One & One For All' Musketeer !! If 'we' wait too long, let's hope DiCaprio has sunk his last boat and comes back to the breathtaking roles he started in '... Gilbert Grape' and culminated here, in his double-role as the French King Of The Sun.But maybe it's better not to hold our breath and have Vincent Cassel play this triple role...
Loved this movie more than a crown! Well, unless the crown is made of diamonds, but you get the idea (by Smells_Like_Cheese)
The Man in the Iron Mask, fresh off the massive success of Titanic, we got the next movie starring huge heart throb Leonardo DiCaprio along with some of Hollywood's strongest male leads. Including a couple of my favorite actors John Malkovich and Jeremy Irons, so this was a movie I was looking forward to seeing, not to mention I was 13 at the time of this release and was totally in love with Leonardo DiCaprio, oh yes, good times. So of course this movie was love at first site with me, but as I grew up and watched the movie without my crush influence, I still found it to be a good solid <more>
movie. Leonardo stays strong as his first duo role as King Louis and Philippe and proves he can stand up with the heavyweights of Hollywood. Jeremy and John together with Leonardo had great chemistry and made The Man in the Iron Mask a really good watchable movie.France is under the reign of King Louis XIV, who is bankrupting the country with his unpopular wars. When starving peasants in Paris start to riot for food, he responds by ordering his chief adviser, to send them rotten food. Meanwhile, the King wallows in hedonistic luxury while seducing a parade of women. The legendary three musketeers have retired from their posts: Aramis is now a priest of the Jesuit Order; Porthos is running a Parisian brothel; Athos has a son named Raoul who is just back from the war and ready to marry the girl he loves, Christine. At a festival, the two lovers are greeted by an older D'Artagnan, just before Raoul can propose, the King's eyes fall on Christine. He arranges for Raoul to be returned to combat and killed in a suicidal charge. In the wake of Raoul's death, Aramis initiates a plot to overthrow the King with the help of his old comrades. Only Athos and Porthos agree to the plan; D'Artangan refuses to betray his oath of allegiance. The three musketeers sneak into an island prison and arrange the escape of a mysterious prisoner: a man in an iron mask. Philippe, the identical twin of King Louis. While he looks indistinguishable from his brother, Philippe is compassionate and gentle and the plan is to replace Louis with Philippe.While I've expressed my love for John and Jeremy, the true talent comes out in Gabriel Byrne's performance as well as Leonardo DiCaprio. Gabriel as D'Artagnan was just beautiful, charming, dashing, and very charismatic. While the movie could have had a little better direction, in some ways this felt more like a made for TV film at times, just with the big names. I'd say that's the movie's main flaw, but they were not given a big budget to make it into a great movie. Also the fact that Leonardo as Philippe, they take the iron mask off his face and he's still pretty! Eh, still I'd highly recommend it, it's the actors that make this movie very delightful to watch, one for all and all for oneÂ… this movie is just tons of fun! Hey, that almost rhymes, I made a funny! OK, there's my cheesy joke, I'm done, just watch the movie.8/10
We didn't expect much here, so it was one of these experiences where you are pleasantly surprised. I would mention Irons and Depardieu first because they are just great. I suppose Depardieu has performed in comic roles before but I don't recall them and so was quite pleased and amused with his grace and charm in such a role. Irons is imposing and has more gravitas that anyone else in the film. Byrne is strong and a pleasure to watch. These top performers take this material and make it delightful. DiCaprio is a talented young man, I suppose, but my personal demographics are in the <more>
periphery of his fan base wrong sex, wrong age . I'm no Malkovich fan, but he was not a sufficient detraction to me to offset my enjoyment of the others. Over all, the film is a lot of fun--a really nice film.
Dumas would have been pleased perhaps (by Geofbob)
This 1998 movie provides everything a swashbuckling cape-and-sword flick should - legendary heroes, a cruel villain, noble sentiments, touches of love and sex, some slapstick, picturesque scenery, sumptuous interiors and of course dashing swordplay the last perhaps a little limited by the maturity of some of the principals .It has also some reasonably intelligent dialogue, provided by writer/producer/director, Randall Wallace, and spoken in part by two of the finest voices in the business - Jeremy Irons Athos and John Malkovich Aramis . Gerard Depardieu Porthos and Gabriel Byrne <more>
D'Artangnan are the other two of the original 3 + 1 Musketeers.The villainy of the young King Louis 14 is provided by Leonardo DiCaprio, who may be too wishy-washy for some tastes, though he certainly has the veneer of elegance needed for the part. One niggle I have is, that it would have been better if he had been instructed to pronounce Athos either with a short a or a long a preferably the former and not alternate between the two.The plot, like the Dumas novel on which it is based, has no less, and no more, credibility than is appropriate for this type of film - for anyone interested in the real events and rumours surrounding the Man in the Iron Mask, I recommend this website - http://www.royalty.nu/legends/IronMask.html One aspect of the film I find amusing is that in this version of a quintessentially French story, the only French actor in the quartet of heroes, Gerard Depardieu, plays the part of a uncouth, lecherous buffoon; while an Englishman, an American and an Irishman provide the grace, heartfelt speeches and depth of character. I wonder how that went down with the audience in France.