The Iron Mask (1929)

95 mins | Romance | 9 March 1929

Director:

Allan Dwan

Cinematographer:

Henry Sharp

Production Designer:

Maurice Leloir

Production Company:

The Elton Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a production directory in the 8 Dec 1928 Exhibitors Herald-Moving Picture World, work began on The Iron Mask on 29 Aug 1928.
       The opening title card states: "Douglas Fairbanks presents The Iron Mask by Elton Thomas, Based on The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas, and the Memoirs of D'Artagnan, Richelieu and DeRochefort." Elton Thomas was a pseudonym frequently used by Fairbanks. His other onscreen credit is in the cast of characters, where Fairbanks is listed last.
       Just after the opening credits, Fairbanks steps out from a tableau that is presented as a book illustration from The Iron Mask and speaks directly to the camera, reciting lines from the Dumas novel, ending with the familiar, "All for one and one for all." After his brief speech, Fairbanks returns to the tableau and the action begins. The actor also addresses the audience during a break in the story, before the action jumps approximately twenty years. The second speech again ends with: "All for one and one for all."
       The film is a sequel to Fairbanks's 1921 picture, The Three Musketeers (see entry).
       The print viewed was a DVD of a restoration of a Museum of Modern Art print, with a new score by composer Carl Davis. Another version of the film that remains in circulation on DVD is a 1952 re-issue with a different score and sound effects added. In that version, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. spoke the words recited by his father in the 1929 release, plus provided a running, voice-over narration of the story ... More Less

According to a production directory in the 8 Dec 1928 Exhibitors Herald-Moving Picture World, work began on The Iron Mask on 29 Aug 1928.
       The opening title card states: "Douglas Fairbanks presents The Iron Mask by Elton Thomas, Based on The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas, and the Memoirs of D'Artagnan, Richelieu and DeRochefort." Elton Thomas was a pseudonym frequently used by Fairbanks. His other onscreen credit is in the cast of characters, where Fairbanks is listed last.
       Just after the opening credits, Fairbanks steps out from a tableau that is presented as a book illustration from The Iron Mask and speaks directly to the camera, reciting lines from the Dumas novel, ending with the familiar, "All for one and one for all." After his brief speech, Fairbanks returns to the tableau and the action begins. The actor also addresses the audience during a break in the story, before the action jumps approximately twenty years. The second speech again ends with: "All for one and one for all."
       The film is a sequel to Fairbanks's 1921 picture, The Three Musketeers (see entry).
       The print viewed was a DVD of a restoration of a Museum of Modern Art print, with a new score by composer Carl Davis. Another version of the film that remains in circulation on DVD is a 1952 re-issue with a different score and sound effects added. In that version, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. spoke the words recited by his father in the 1929 release, plus provided a running, voice-over narration of the story written by Richard Llewelyn.
       There have been many other filmed versions of Alexandre Dumas' story. For additional information on other versions, please consult the entry below for the 1939, Edward Small production of The Man in the Iron Mask , directed by James Whale and starring Louis Hayward and Joan Bennett. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
8 Dec 1928
p. 50.
Film Daily
24 Mar 1929.
---
New York Times
22 Feb 1929
p. 18.
Variety
27 Feb 1929
p. 80.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Scenario ed
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Addl photog
Chief elec
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Tech dir
Artist
Artist
Artist
Artist
Int dec
FILM EDITOR
Film cutter
SET DECORATOR
Master of ward and prop
COSTUMES
Cost des
[Cost] executed by
[Cost] executed by
[Cost] executed by
MUSIC
Mus arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Tech eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Consultant
Consultant
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novels Les trois mousquetaires (Paris, 1844) and L'homme au masque de fer , Part 3 of Le Vicomte de Bragelonne (Paris, 1848-50) by Alexandre Dumas, père .
SONGS
"One for All, All for One," words by Jo' Trent, music by Hugo Riesenfeld and Louis Alter.
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 March 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 February 1929
Production Date:
began 29 August 1928
Copyright Claimant:
The Elton Corp.
Copyright Date:
2 March 1929
Copyright Number:
LP288
Physical Properties:
Silent
8,659 ft.
Silent with sound sequences
Talking seq, sound effects and music score by Movietone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in feet):
8,855
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis XIII, gives birth to twins, and Cardinal Richelieu, learning of the double birth, smuggles the unwanted twin into Spain. Constance, a seamstress present at the birth, is kidnaped by Rochefort, and D'Artagnan, her lover, hastens to the rescue. Constance is killed, however, and D'Artagnan is ordered to guard the little prince. Rochefort kidnaps the second twin and rears him as the pretender to the throne. Richelieu then separates D'Artagnan from his faithful friends, the three musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, who are each sent to different parts of France. Years pass. Rochefort smuggles the pretender into the royal palace and imprisons Louis XIV in a distant fortress. D'Artagnan rescues the king at the cost of not only his own life but the lives of his reunited comrades, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Louis XIV is reinstated and orders the pretender to spend the remainder of his life in an iron mask. As the mortally wounded D'Artagnan walks into the Palace garden, he thinks of Constance and his three friends, whom he joins in ... +


Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis XIII, gives birth to twins, and Cardinal Richelieu, learning of the double birth, smuggles the unwanted twin into Spain. Constance, a seamstress present at the birth, is kidnaped by Rochefort, and D'Artagnan, her lover, hastens to the rescue. Constance is killed, however, and D'Artagnan is ordered to guard the little prince. Rochefort kidnaps the second twin and rears him as the pretender to the throne. Richelieu then separates D'Artagnan from his faithful friends, the three musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, who are each sent to different parts of France. Years pass. Rochefort smuggles the pretender into the royal palace and imprisons Louis XIV in a distant fortress. D'Artagnan rescues the king at the cost of not only his own life but the lives of his reunited comrades, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Louis XIV is reinstated and orders the pretender to spend the remainder of his life in an iron mask. As the mortally wounded D'Artagnan walks into the Palace garden, he thinks of Constance and his three friends, whom he joins in death. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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