The Iron Mask

Le Masque de Fer Affiche
Allan Dwan
Original score for « L'Octuor de France » written by Gabriel Thibaudeau
  • Production : USA, 1929
  • Length : 98 min at 22 frames/second
  • Orchestration : 1st violon, 2nd violon, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Piano

Adaptation by Douglas Fairbanks of Alexandre Dumas’ novel « Le Vicomte de Bragelonne »

Scenario :

Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, gives birth to twins. Richelieu hides the unwanted twin in Spain. Constance, a witness to this birth, is abducted by Rochefort. D’Artagnan, her lover, rushes to her aid but she is killed. Rochefort abducts the twin brother in order to place him on the throne. He has Louis XIV thrown into prison and replaces him by his twin. D’Artagnan, who has sworn to avenge Constance’s death, together with his musketeers, liberates the king. Imprisoned, the twin is condemned to hide his face behind an iron mask for the rest of his life.

The Director :

Allan Dwan

Born in Toronto (Canada) in 1885, Allan Dwan trained as an engineer before becoming interested in the budding film industry and joining the Essanay studios as a script writer in 1909. He quickly and easily moved into film making and proved to be a true innovator, particularly in the technical field. He directed such stars as Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson and became the preferred director of Douglas Fairbanks, with whom he made 11 movies, including the famous Robin Hood (1922).

He continued his prolific career in the talkies, although too often confined to making B movies. During his 50 year career, he made more than 400 movies, the latest being in 1961 at the age of 76. He died in Los Angeles in 1981 at the age of 96.

The Composer :

Gabriel Thibaudeau

Born in 1959 in Beauharnois, Quebec, Gabriel Thibaudeau studied piano at the Vincent d’Indy Music School and composition at the Music Faculty of Montreal University. He also participated in summer schools at the Orford Arts Center where he worked on composition with Iannis Xenakis.

As permanent pianist at the Quebec Film Library since 1988, and recognised as the Canadian specialist in the accompanying of silent movies, he has been invited since 1991 to the Gionarte del Cinema Muto, in Pordenone and since 1992 to the festival Il Cinema Ritrovato, in Bologna, Italy.

Since 1993, among other works for the silent cinema, he has composed a quintet for brass and percussion for the film Straight Shooting, a concerto for piano and chamber orchestra for the film The Fall of the House of Usher, a sextet for the film Foolish Wives, and a Requiem for soprano and piano for the film The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. In association with the Octuor de France he has composed the music to accompany The Man who Laughs, Au Bonheur des Dames, The Iron Mask and Poil de Carotte, as well as adapting for the Octuor de France his orchestral score for The Phantom of the Opera.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Octuor de France. All rights reserved - Legal - Design Morgan Thomas : the Art of Morgan Thomas - By Optilian