|Directed by Mike Newell|
Country of origin United States
|Theme music composer Allyn Ferguson|
Original language(s) English
|Written by William Bast
Alexandre Dumas, père (Novel)|
Starring Richard Chamberlain Jenny Agutter Patrick McGoohan Ralph Richardson Louis Jourdan Ian Holm Hugh Fraser
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 Norman Rosemont for ITC Entertainment, and starred Richard Chamberlain as King Louis XIV and his twin Philippe, 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.
In this version, the twins' ages are swapped: Philippe is the firstborn and rightful king, who had been spirited away at birth and raised with no knowledge of his true identity in a plot by Cardinal Mazarin to manipulate Louis before his own death. Colbert and D'Artagnan plot to replace Louis (who is an ineffective king more interested in dancing and pleasure than the welfare of France) 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.
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.