The Man in the Iron Mask (1977 film)

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The Man in the Iron Mask
Directed by Mike Newell
Produced by Norman Rosemont
Written by William Bast
Alexandre Dumas, père (Novel)
Starring Richard Chamberlain
Jenny Agutter
Patrick McGoohan
Ralph Richardson
Louis Jourdan
Ian Holm
Hugh Fraser
Music by Allyn Ferguson
Cinematography Freddie Young
Editing by Bill Blunden
Country United States
Language English
Release date 17 January 1977 (1977-01-17)
Running time 100 minutes

The Man in the Iron Mask is a 1977 television film loosely adapted from The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas and presenting several plot similarities with the 1939 film version. It was produced by ITC Entertainment, and starred Richard Chamberlain as Louis XIV and Philippe, his twin, Patrick McGoohan as Nicolas Fouquet, Ralph Richardson as Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis Jourdan as D'Artagnan, and Ian Holm as the Chevalier Duval. Jenny Agutter plays Louis XIV's mistress, Louise de la Vallière and Vivien Merchant appears as Queen Marie-Therese. It was directed by Mike Newell. Although a made-for-TV movie, actual locations in France were used for filming, including the Château de Fontainebleau and Fouquet's actual chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte for the final ball scene.

In this version, the twins' ages are swapped: Philippe is the firstborn of Louis XIII, who had been spirited away and raised with no knowledge of his true identity in a plot by Cardinal Mazarin to manipulate Louis, the second son, before his own death. Colbert and D'Artagnan plot to replace Louis (who is an ineffective king) with Philippe, and in the process bring down the corrupt finance minister Fouquet, who has embezzled from the national treasury. Louis is repulsed by his own wife and makes repeated advances on Louise, who is in turn repulsed by him yet falls in love with Philippe.

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