The 5th Musketeer (1979)

PG | 103 mins | Adventure, Swashbuckler | 1979

Director:

Ken Annakin

Writer:

David Ambrose

Producer:

Ted Richmond

Cinematographer:

Jack Cardiff

Editor:

Malcolm Cooke

Production Designer:

Elliot Scott

Production Companies:

Sascha-Film, Ted Richmond Productions
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HISTORY

End credits include the following written statement: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of the Austrian Government. Photographed in Austria at Schönbrunn Palace, Schloß Laxenburg, Burg Kreuzenstein, Burg Liechtenstein, Klosterneuburg, Roter Berg, Schönlaterngasse, Palais Auersberg [sic], Südbahnhof, Votivkirche.”
       According to production notes from AMPAS library files, David Ambrose’s script was derived from two sources, the George Bruce screenplay from the film The Man in the Iron Mask (1939, see entry) and author Alexandre Dumas’s work of the same title, which was originally published as Part Three of the novel, The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Paris, 1848-50). The story of The Man in the Iron Mask was the final installment in Dumas’s “Musketeer” saga.
       In At Sword’s Point (1952, see entry), actors Cornel Wilde and Alan Hale, Jr. portrayed the sons of “D’Artagnan” and “Porthos,” their respective characters from The 5th Musketeer. Hale also played Porthos in Lady in the Iron Mask (1952, see entry) and his father, Alan Hale, Sr., performed the same role in the 1939 feature The Man in the Iron Mask. Production notes mentioned that Wilde brought additional expertise as a former champion fencer to his part. According to a 13 Jun 1978 LAT article, actress Sylvia Kristel (“Marie-Therese”) received top billing and a salary of $300,000, due to her popularity from the softcore pornographic Emmanuelle film series.
       The 5th Musketeer, a $7 million project, was part of an initiative by Sascha-Wien Films, a production company supported by the Austrian government, to establish itself in the American and international film market with ... More Less

End credits include the following written statement: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of the Austrian Government. Photographed in Austria at Schönbrunn Palace, Schloß Laxenburg, Burg Kreuzenstein, Burg Liechtenstein, Klosterneuburg, Roter Berg, Schönlaterngasse, Palais Auersberg [sic], Südbahnhof, Votivkirche.”
       According to production notes from AMPAS library files, David Ambrose’s script was derived from two sources, the George Bruce screenplay from the film The Man in the Iron Mask (1939, see entry) and author Alexandre Dumas’s work of the same title, which was originally published as Part Three of the novel, The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Paris, 1848-50). The story of The Man in the Iron Mask was the final installment in Dumas’s “Musketeer” saga.
       In At Sword’s Point (1952, see entry), actors Cornel Wilde and Alan Hale, Jr. portrayed the sons of “D’Artagnan” and “Porthos,” their respective characters from The 5th Musketeer. Hale also played Porthos in Lady in the Iron Mask (1952, see entry) and his father, Alan Hale, Sr., performed the same role in the 1939 feature The Man in the Iron Mask. Production notes mentioned that Wilde brought additional expertise as a former champion fencer to his part. According to a 13 Jun 1978 LAT article, actress Sylvia Kristel (“Marie-Therese”) received top billing and a salary of $300,000, due to her popularity from the softcore pornographic Emmanuelle film series.
       The 5th Musketeer, a $7 million project, was part of an initiative by Sascha-Wien Films, a production company supported by the Austrian government, to establish itself in the American and international film market with English-language prestige features, as stated in a 17 Jun 1977 DV article. The company’s other offering at the time was A Little Night Music, a 1977 film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
       According to production notes, The 5th Musketeer was shot exclusively in and around Vienna, Austria. Locations included Schönbrunn Palace, Auersperg Palace, the castle Schloss Laxenburg, the gothic cathedral Votive Church and the fortresses Burg Liechtenstein and Burg Kreuzenstein. As reported in a 22 Nov 1976 Box brief, principal photography began 20 Oct 1976.
       A news item in the 2 Jan 1979 HR noted that the release was postponed so as not to compete with the 1977 made-for-television film, The Man in the Iron Mask, starring Richard Chamberlain; additionally, the film’s working title, Behind the Iron Mask, was changed to The 5th Musketeer. However, the 11 Apr 1979 Var review concluded that the new title was an attempt to capitalize on the recent successes of The Three Musketeers (1974, see entry) and The Four Musketeers (1975, see entry).
       Another feature film remake about twin brothers “King Louis XIV” and “Philippe” was released in 1998 under the title, The Man in the Iron Mask (see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Nov 1976.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1977
p. 1, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1978
Section F, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1979
Section E, p. 25.
New York Times
8 Sep 1979
p. 12.
Variety
11 Apr 1979
p. 21, 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
Sascha Wien Films in association with Ted Richmond Films Inc. present
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
2d unit cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Prod secy
Exec asst to the prod
Wrangler
Swordmaster
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas (New York, 1892) and a screenplay of the same name by George Bruce (United Artists, 1939).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Behind the Iron Mask
Beyond the Iron Mask
The Fifth Musketeer
The Man in the Iron Mask
Release Date:
1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 6 Apr 1979; New York opening: week of 8 Sep 1979
Production Date:
began 20 Oct 1976
Copyright Claimant:
Sascha-Film, G.m.b.H.
Copyright Date:
5 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA37003
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Optical Sound System and Film was recorded with Dolby System
Color
Lenses/Prints
Photographic Equipment by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, Austria, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the reign of French King Louis XIV, royal troops kidnap Philippe, a young commoner who bears a striking resemblance to the king, and incarcerate him, along with his four guardians, known as the sword-fighting musketeers D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos. Elsewhere, Princess Marie-Therese of Spain sails to France for her diplomatic marriage to Louis XIV, which is meant to put an end to the ongoing war between their two countries, but she has doubts about the philandering king who is unpopular among the French people. At the Bastille prison in Paris, an iron mask is forged for Philippe to ensure that no one will see his familiar face. Also, the soldiers who already have caught sight of him are executed by order of the cunning Fouquet, the king’s chief minister. Meanwhile at the palace, Louis explains to his mistress, Madame de la Valliere, that he and Fouquet will stage an assassination tomorrow. While Louis remains hidden, the double will pose as the king and greet Marie-Therese at the arrival dock. In front of the public, the look-alike will be murdered. Afterwards, the real king will miraculously reappear, signifying to the French people that he has immortal powers, and thereby assuring their loyalty. Through a secret passageway underneath the Bastille, Fouquet leads the prisoner in the iron mask to the king’s private chambers and tells him that if he follows instructions, his fellow musketeers will be released unharmed. When Philippe arrives at the dock dressed as Louis XIV, Colbert, a high-ranking court official who is loyal to the musketeers, recognizes the masquerade and warns the young man to be cautious. ... +


During the reign of French King Louis XIV, royal troops kidnap Philippe, a young commoner who bears a striking resemblance to the king, and incarcerate him, along with his four guardians, known as the sword-fighting musketeers D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos. Elsewhere, Princess Marie-Therese of Spain sails to France for her diplomatic marriage to Louis XIV, which is meant to put an end to the ongoing war between their two countries, but she has doubts about the philandering king who is unpopular among the French people. At the Bastille prison in Paris, an iron mask is forged for Philippe to ensure that no one will see his familiar face. Also, the soldiers who already have caught sight of him are executed by order of the cunning Fouquet, the king’s chief minister. Meanwhile at the palace, Louis explains to his mistress, Madame de la Valliere, that he and Fouquet will stage an assassination tomorrow. While Louis remains hidden, the double will pose as the king and greet Marie-Therese at the arrival dock. In front of the public, the look-alike will be murdered. Afterwards, the real king will miraculously reappear, signifying to the French people that he has immortal powers, and thereby assuring their loyalty. Through a secret passageway underneath the Bastille, Fouquet leads the prisoner in the iron mask to the king’s private chambers and tells him that if he follows instructions, his fellow musketeers will be released unharmed. When Philippe arrives at the dock dressed as Louis XIV, Colbert, a high-ranking court official who is loyal to the musketeers, recognizes the masquerade and warns the young man to be cautious. As Philippe slowly walks to the end of the dock to await Marie-Therese’s boat, he sees smoke rising from the planks and dives into the water, narrowly escaping an explosion. After swimming to shore, he grabs a sword and fends off another assassination attempt. While the crowd of onlookers cheer their brave king, Colbert advises Philippe to use his power to decree that all prisoners are to be freed from the Bastille immediately. In the meantime, Louis prepares to greet the public as the resurrected monarch, until Fouquet stops him with the shocking news that the double is still alive. After witnessing the heroics at the dock, Marie-Therese is pleasantly surprised by the king. Later that night, during a fireworks show welcoming the future Queen, Philippe and Marie-Therese observe an attraction between each other. Before Philippe disappears to rejoin the musketeers, he promises Marie-Therese that he will return soon and kisses her. As soon as Louis XIV resumes his place at the palace, he requests that Marie-Therese sign over her dowry before the wedding, which is not customary, but advantageous to his nearly bankrupt estate. She is uncomfortable with the arrangement and also perplexed by the king’s abrupt change in personality from the previous night. In the countryside, Philippe and the musketeers retreat to the basement of an inn, run by their trusted friend, Bernard. Unaware until now of resembling the king, Philippe inquires about his background, and the musketeers reveal that he is the twin brother of Louis. At the birth, the royal family knew that twins would complicate inheritance to the throne, so one of the boys was committed to the protection of the musketeers, who were held in high esteem by the king at that time. D’Artagnan says that no one knows who was first born. To the amusement of the elder musketeers, Philippe contemplates himself as king, if only to rescue the lovely Marie-Therese. Meanwhile, the king’s mother, Queen Anne, confirms the same news to Louis and urges him not to harm his twin brother. Elsewhere, Marie-Therese tries to flee France and her arranged marriage. Concerned about the political consequences, Colbert convinces the musketeers to intercept her carriage ahead of Louis’ troops. While D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos fend off the king’s soldiers, Philippe carries Marie-Therese away on his horse. During the getaway, Philippe explains his true identity to the Spanish princess, and the couple spend a romantic night at a secluded inn. However, their whereabouts are soon discovered, and Philippe is once again imprisoned in the iron mask while Marie-Therese is returned to the king’s court. With the advice of Colbert, the princess undertakes a scheme to dethrone Louis. The night before the wedding, Marie-Therese flirts with the king and drugs his wine while the four musketeers slip into the palace. As soon as Louis loses consciousness, the musketeers carry his body to the Bastille through the secret passageway. There, they release Philippe and lock the king in the iron mask. When Louis wakes in the cell and screams that he is the real king, no one believes him, including Fouquet. The next day, Philippe, disguised as the king, walks down the aisle for his wedding to Marie-Therese. Through an informant, Fouquet learns that Aramis and Porthos have seized command of the Bastille, which means that the man in the iron mask is Louis XIV, after all. He organizes a takeover of the prison by a group of rogue fighters and frees King Louis. During the conflict, Porthos and Aramis are mortally wounded, but before dying, Porthos staggers into the cathedral and interrupts the wedding to warn Philippe and the other two musketeers. In the secret passageway, Philippe and D’Artagnan intercept the king and Fouquet. The experienced swordsman D’Artagnan kills Fouquet, but as the twin brothers duel, they tumble off a shaky bridge into the underground moat. Louis is swept away by the swift current, while Philippe is rescued by D’Artagnan. When Philippe returns to the altar dressed as the king, Madame de la Valliere cries out that he is not Louis of France. In front of the congregation, Queen Anne proclaims that this man is her son, and the royal wedding between Philippe and Marie-Therese proceeds. +

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

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