"Man in the Iron Mask" Movie Synopsis

by Toby Welch
Most of the movie was filmed in France.

Most of the movie was filmed in France.

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"The Man in the Iron Mask" was released March 13, 1998. Written, directed and produced by Randall Wallace, it is based on three novels by Alexandre Dumas: "The Three Musketeers," "Twenty Years After" and "The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later." It is similar to the 1939 film of the same title.


"The Man in the Iron Mask" has an impressive cast. Leonardo DiCaprio plays King Louis XIV and the king's twin brother. The Three Musketeers are played by Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Gerard Depardieu. The rest of the major cast is comprised of Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godreche and Peter Sarsgaard.


"The Man in the Iron Mask" opens during the reign of Louis XIV in France. The king is living in luxury as he is killing his country with wars. When riots break out over a lack of food, the king tells his men to send inedible food. At this point the Three Musketeers have retired and moved on to the next phase of their lives. One is now a priest, another all but lives at brothels, and the third, Athos, is focused on spending time with his son, who is back from war and eager to marry the woman he loves.

The Plot Thickens

Athos' son, Raoul, is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Christine. But before he can pop the question, the king glimpses Christine and wants her for himself. The king sends Raoul back to war, where he is killed on a suicide mission. Louis beckons Christine to his palace, and she sleeps with him out of gratitude for medical help he has given her family. Meanwhile, a plot is hatched to overthrow the king. The Three Musketeers break out a prisoner, a man in an iron mask, and they replace his body with a corpse.

Royal Twins (Spoilers)

The Musketeers discover that the masked man is Philippe, the identical twin of the king. Louis has kept him hidden from curious eyes with the mask. The Musketeers teach Philippe how to be a king, and they replace the real king with Philippe. But the deception is discovered, and the real king's men save Louis from the Musketeers. Philippe is sent back to prison to resume his life as the man in the iron mask. Christine kills herself when she discovers that Louis was responsible for the death of Raoul.

Closing (Spoilers)

The Musketeers break Philippe out of prison again, but Louis has planned an ambush. Philippe offers to give his life up for the Musketeers, but D'Artagnan, a man fighting for Louis, says no as he is the father of Louis and Philippe. A fight breaks out, and Louis tries to stab Philippe. D'Artagnan is fatally wounded when he jumps between his dueling sons. Louis is taken to prison and is locked into the iron mask, and Philippe pretends to be the king. France is finally at peace.


  • "The Man in the Iron Mask"; 2004

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