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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Man in the Iron Mask [Blu-ray]


(Mike Newell, 1977)


Coming to Blu-ray, in the UK, in March 2020 from Network:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: ITC Entertainment

Video: Henstooth Video



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:45:31.283

Disc Size: 21,744,675,007 bytes

Feature Size: 21,477,414,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 6th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1642 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1642 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



DVD of the feature included in the package





Description: Alexandre Dumas' classic tale of good and evil twins is brought lavishly to the screen by director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco). Richard Chamberlain shines in dual roles as both the imprisoned man in the hideous iron mask and his foppish twin, King Louis XIV of France. Under the sinister influence of Minister of Finance Fouquet, Louis rules with wasteful opulence. His brother Philippe, the rightful heir, lives in obscurity with no knowledge of his birthright. But the Captain of the Musketeers, D'Artagnan, has plans to restore the declining fortunes of the throne by secretly substituting Philippe for the King.



The Film:

Alexandre Dumas's classic tale of fraternal squabbling makes a more than satisfactory transition to celluloid with this 1976 made-for-television swashbuckler. Viewers familiar with the more recent Leonardo DiCaprio version may be stymied at first by the non-MTV pace and the rather unhip presence of Richard Chamberlain in the lead role(s). This well-lensed actioner overcomes a somewhat pokey first half to emerge as a terrific adventure, complete with plenty of derring-do, some sharply pointed dialogue, and a wonderful performance by the incomparably malevolent Patrick McGoohan. Rousing fun for burgeoning rapscallions of all ages.

Excerpt from located HERE

The Man in the Iron Mask was, at the very least, the twelfth film version of Alexandre Dumas' 1847 novel. The title character is Philippe (Richard Chamberlain), rightful heir to the throne of France. Enemies of Philippe's twin brother, King Louis XIV (also Chamberlain) plot to kidnap the monarch, lock him in a dungeon, and obscure his identity with an iron mask. But aging musketeer D'Artagnan (Louis Jourdan), who'd virtually raised Louis from boyhood, reunites his old musketeer cohorts to rescue Louis and overthrow the wicked Philippe.

Excerpt from Amazon.UK located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The 1977 TV Movie version of The Man in the Iron Mask directed by Mike Newell arrives on Blu-ray from Henstooth Video.  The image, which I presume was broadcast in 1.33, presumably opens-up, and is transferred at 1.78:1.  The video quality is quite adept - 1080P with a supportive bitrate.  This is only single-layered but it is kind of acceptable being a bare-bones disc. Colors seem true and contrast exhibits piercing black levels. Daylight scenes are more impressive but the dark jail sequences don't show any noise. These is not much depth. This Blu-ray has consistent texture and there are no real flaws. It is clean, bright and has solid detail.  By modern standards this isn't overly dynamic visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This Blu-ray gave me an enjoyable 1080P presentation!

















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1642 kbps competently exports the dialogue, occasional effects and Allyn Ferguson's period-supporting score. There were a couple of nice instances of depth churning suspense in the classic story. Henstooth add optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

None but the package does offer a second disc DVD of the Feature!



One of those stories that never seem to disappoint. I feel like I've seen half-a-dozen renditions and there is little to dislike about the story. Mike Newell provides an interesting film version - kudos to the strong performances. Despite its classic leanings I found my two sons soon engrossed in the movie - asking plenty of questions. There is value here in the Blu-ray. Those appreciative of Dumas should give this a spin. 

Gary Tooze

October 10th, 2013

Coming to Blu-ray, in the UK, in March 2020 from Network:


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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