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The book contains some of the funniest scenes Dumas wrote. As a child he lived through the upheavals of the Napoleonic Revolution and the subsequent restoration of the monarchy of France.

Versailles: What is the true story of the Man in the Iron Mask?

He received his private education from a priest like Monte Cristo. It is thought that he would sketch the outline of a story to an assistant who would write it up; then Dumas himself would take the story by the throat and wrestle it into a masterpiece. He was a generous, idiosyncratic and fun-loving man who cooked brilliantly, gave a lot of money to cadgers and hangers-on, and spent prodigiously on his private life, most notoriously on various highly-publicised affaires and the construction of a monstrous folly of a house at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

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The Man in the Iron Mask () - IMDb

Buy on CD at NaxosDirect. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The film plumps for this, too.


In real life, the masked prisoner was registered as Eustache Dauger. This film couldn't give a toss for any of that.

In place of Colbert, there's a fleeting cameo by a massive wig, under which is concealed Hugh Laurie, playing an anonymous "King's Advisor". Other than that, the French state appears to have no politicians.

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The three ageing musketeers — Athos John Malkovich , Porthos Gerard Depardieu and Aramis Jeremy Irons — loiter around the edges, grumbling treasonously about replacing the king. If you're thinking this cast is too good for this film: yes, it is. Moreover, DiCaprio, Malkovich and Byrne give conspicuously excellent performances, which really show the script up.

Aramis springs Philippe from the Bastille and carries him off to the country, where the three musketeers embark on a three-week makeover to help the traumatised boy pass himself off as his cocky twin, Louis XIV. Which means Watch him learn to dance all formal! Whack a sword about!

The Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs

Sheila Ferguson has a stunning voice, but unfortunately, is simply not right for the part. In addition to battling through a ludicrous script, Robert Fardell also has to endure the ignominy of wearing a mask that resembles a cross between a cabbage patch doll and a s Dr Who villain from planet Zog, presumably crafted by a blind sheep. At the end of the performance, a head popped out of the orchestra pit to receive some acclamation.

Presumably this person was the programmer who had been slaving away in the bowels of the earth bashing out bits and bytes to concoct the musical accompaniment on some second-hand PC or other. One might have thought we were all in line to have several teeth pulled, rather than to witness a West End musical debut.

What little applause was forthcoming seemed to be polite or sympathetic, rather than emanating from any kind of real enthusiasm or appreciation. When I saw the former, it was greeted with sincere enthusiasm from the audience, and to give it its due, it had a strong storyline.

Who was the Real Man in the Iron Mask?

What the popular press had to say There's no insane flourish to its mediocrity, no sublimity to its awfulness.