“The Iron Mask” is a 1929 American silent film directed by Allan Dwan and produced and released by United Artists. It is a loose adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel “The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later” and tells the story of the Three Musketeers and their efforts to save the life of the rightful king of France, who has been imprisoned in a castle and forced to wear an iron mask to conceal his identity.
The film begins with the aging musketeers, Athos (Leon Barry), Porthos (Tiny Sandford), and Aramis (William Bakewell), reminiscing about their glory days as they prepare to attend the coronation of King Louis XIV (also played by Leon Barry). However, they soon discover that the real Louis has been imprisoned and replaced by his twin brother, the cruel and corrupt Philippe (also played by Barry), who has taken the throne for himself.
D’Artagnan (Douglas Fairbanks), the former fourth musketeer and now captain of the King’s Musketeers, joins forces with his old comrades to free the real Louis and restore him to the throne. They hatch a plan to replace Philippe with Louis and help him escape from the castle by substituting him for one of Philippe’s loyal followers, who is killed in his place.
In the end, Louis is restored to the throne, Philippe is killed in a duel with D’Artagnan, and the musketeers are hailed as heroes. The film ends with the musketeers walking off into the sunset, ready for new adventures.
The film was notable for its lavish production values, including impressive sets and costumes, and for its use of sound effects and synchronized music, which were still relatively new techniques in 1929. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $2 million at the box office and cementing Douglas Fairbanks’ status as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Lotta Woods, Douglas Fairbanks, Alexandre Dumas
Douglas Fairbanks, Belle Bennett, Marguerite De La Motte