The Man in the Iron Mask

France is in turmoil as the young King Louis XIV (Leonardo Dicaprio) cares nothing for his people or their well-being. Former, aging Musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis (John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and Jeremy Irons) concoct a plan to replace the evil Louis with a substitute, the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask (The King's banished twin bother Phillip, also played by DiCaprio), who they hope will prove to be a better king.

The problem lies in the devotion of their friend, D'Artagnan (Gabriel Byrne), who is the Captain of the King's Musketeers, to the selfish monarch. To succeed in their plot, the musketeers will have to either turn D'Artagnan against the king, or fool him into believing Phillip is Louis. They free Phillip from his prison, and train him in the ways of the royal court. They decide to kidnap Louis and replace him with Phillip at a masque.


Audio problem: In the Bastille dungeon just after Phillippe knocked out the guard with the key we hear Athos say 'We feared the mask would destroy you', but his lips do not move in sync with this. It looks more like he originally said 'We thought you were dead'. (01:44:54)

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Athos: D'Artagnan, I have never known a finer man than you nor cared more for a friend, but if this king harms my son merely to take a lover, then this king will become my enemy. And so will any man who stands between that enemy and me.

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Trivia: If you look in King Louis' bedroom, there is portrait of the real King Louis XIV.

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Question: I don't know anything about identical twins, so this is why I'm asking this question: how likely is it that Louis and Phillipe would have the exact same speech pattern?

Answer: There would be both genetic similarities and individual differences, and their vocabularies would have developed differently by education and experience. However, Phillipe was heavily tutored before the switch took place, and as "king" he would be able to distance himself (physically, mentally, and emotionally) as much as needed from members of his court until he perfected his role, along with the continued help from those in on the deception. Also, the audience and readers of the novel are expected to employ a certain "suspension of disbelief" in order to allow the story to be told.

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