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The Face Behind the Mask (1938)

Dramatized short film that investigates three possibilities for the identity of France's "man in the iron mask," who was imprisoned for life by King Louis XIV, forced to wear an iron mask, and was buried in the mask upon his death.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writer:

Milton Gunzburg (screenplay) (as Milton Lowell Gunzburg)
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Cast

Cast overview:
John Nesbitt ... Narrator
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Storyline

Dramatized short film describing the historical mystery of France's "man in the iron mask." King Louis XIV imprisoned a man who was never identified, but who was forced to wear an iron mask for the length of his captivity, which ended only in his death. Three candidates for the identity of the man are investigated. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Short | History | Mystery

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.5 (1955) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Man In The Iron Mask
24 June 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

John Nesbitt narrates this short subject, a "historical mystery" about 'The Man In The Iron Mask.' Made famous by Dumas novel, this short accepts the Dumas myth; in truth, the man who spent a lifetime in prison wore a mask of black velvet. The iron mask was promulgated by Voltaire, who never let accuracy get in the way of a good story. Neither did Nesbitt, nor Jacques Tourneur, the director of this MGM short.

Like most of the shorts which he was associated with, Nesbitt tells the story while the actors perform without speaking. He rose to celebrity as a radio man, narrating "The Passing Parade" from 1937 through 1949, and also a series of shorts with the same title for MGM. Tourneur was the son of Maurice Tourneur, a prominent director of the silent era, who started in France, went to America about 1914, and returned to France with the coming of sound. Jacques served as an assistant to his father on several movies, and made his bones as a feature director in France in 1930, then returned to the US. There he became a shorts director for MGM. He returned to directing features in 1939, almost always programmers, but always made them superior examples. His career tailed off in the 1960s ad he died in 1977, aged 73, in his native France.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Historical Mystery #5: The Face Behind the Mask See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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