The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) Script

You must understand, monsieur.

I have strict orders not to let anyone see these prisoners.

But an order from the Minister, Monsieur Fouquet.

The rack, mademoiselle.

Still the best way to loosen a villain's tongue.

Tell me, monsieur, why does a beautiful young lady of His Majesty's court wish to see a wretch like this de la Valliere?

She is the man's daughter.

A fact that Monsieur Fouquet would not want published.

As governor of the Bastille, one learns to be discreet.

Please!

Monsieur!

Monsieur, I demand to know why I am here!

What have I done?

Who is my accuser?

When am I to be tried?

To hear them complain, they are all innocent.

Alone, as I was promised.

Five minutes, no more.

Father?

Who's there?

What do you want of me?

It's Louise.

Louise?

Go away!

I'm dreaming.

No, papa.

You're not dreaming.

Dear child!

Dear child!

Forgive me.

Why isn't this, I can't.

Let me see you.

How beautiful you are!

So, so elegant.

Life at court must suit you.

Oh, if only you knew how little.

Dearest papa, please forgive me.

What, why do you blame yourself?

If I had not rejected the attentions of Monsieur Fouquet.

Fouquet?

That lecher!

Shh, we may be heard.

It would be better if I were Fouquet's mistress, and you were free.

Never!

I'd rather rot here.

He said that if I gave myself to him.

Do they never!

I must accept his bargain.

No!

No!

Mademoiselle!

My father and I,

thank you for your kindness.

Why do you stare at me so?

It's just that you resemble.

Who?

An acquaintance.

Do not be afraid.

How could I harm anyone so beautiful?

But you must tell me.

I must know.

It is time.

Give me some light.

You there, come here.

What is it you see?

Leave him alone!


Monsieur, monsieur, monsieur.


See how the hawk and the falcon conspire together?

I wonder what evil they are hatching.

Fouquet.

The master juggler at work.

The national treasury plundered.

The very wealth of funds smoothly channelled into personal glory in his chateau at Vaux.

Maybe we'll see him pay it back one day.

But look at the real scourge of France.

This water lily who calls himself a king.

Patience, D'Artagnan.

Remember, Louis still wears the crown and bears the sceptre.

Any action against him must be a last recourse.

It cannot be soon enough for me.

Fouquet has ears everywhere.

He must not never get wind of our plans until we are ready to act.

I will count the minutes till the day.

I tell you.

He lives!

Where?

The Bastille.

Though God knows what stroke of fate put him there for me to find.

Fate?

This was the work of those jealous of my power over the King.

Colbert?

As I've long suspected that venerated Minister of the Interior to have a plot to do me damage.

But a move so bold as this, is not only against me, it's...

Could be treason.

Delicious.

I'll hang the old fox yet!

Are you absolutely sure it's the boy?

The protege of Cardinal Mazarin, not just some look-alike?

The resemblance is too perfect.

It has to be.

We must be certain.

Must be.

Who are you?

What do you want?


Who brought this prisoner here?

I don't know who arrested him.

The order was signed by some obscure prefecture in Burgundy.

No one must see that prisoner without my authorization.

Guard him well, or it will be your neck.

Rest assured, Minister!

Rest assured.


Beat that, Montfleury, if you can.

If you dare!

What, and risk another tantrum?

I shall miss by a league, my dear.


How brazenly de La Valliere flirts with your husband, madame.

How openly your son encourages her, madame.

Oh, what a pity!


Ah, Fouquet, if you come to join the game, you are too late.

We are bored with it, and have found ourselves a new distraction.

I seek a word in private with Your Majesty on a matter of some urgency.

What a tedious man you are, Fouquet!

You haven't even asked the score.

I wager Your Majesty played as successfully as usual?

We have won every set.

Congratulations, Sire.

Come to our chambers later.

Much later.

How can you endure such humiliation with a smile?

Easily, madame, if it keeps him from my bedroom.

With a common country girl?

Little slut.

You are not the only one to be upset.

Look at Fouquet.

I admire your restraint, monsieur.

No sacrifice is too great, Duval, if one pleases one's sovereign.

Why is that?

Because, madame, our little Louis has taken his prize!


Exquisite!

But we will have to arrange for a new wardrobe.

His Majesty is too kind.

Not at all.

It is a pity to hide such assets.

You deserve gowns that will show them off and allow one a glimpse of paradise.

Come, come, why so shy?

Surely you've guessed by now that I would give the world for you.

Simply ask, and it will be yours!

Oh, Your Majesty, I would not presume.

Dear girl, I expect you to presume.

Presume too much!

Demand more than I can fulfil!

That will be my agony and my joy!

Such is the game of love, at which I perceive you are new.

Alas, I fear I will never know the rules.

Nonsense.

I will instruct you.

For example, when I shower you with gifts, do not be too quick to show your pleasure.

Pout a while and look dissatisfied.

But surely that would hurt your feelings, Sire.

Yes!

Yes, now you begin to understand.

And I will grovel at your feet, like this and kiss the hem of your gown, like this, and beg you to forgive me.

Your Majesty!

Monsieur. We have been waiting...

Messieurs, messieurs, please, His Majesty will receive you all in due course.

Will His Majesty see me now?

His Majesty craves the Minister of the Interior's indulgence a little while longer.

Monsieur Fouquet. Later.

Much later.

We should just stand here.

Monsieur Colbert, D'Artagnan.

Monsieur.

You are looking more fit than ever.

Thank you.

And you're looking more prosperous than ever, monsieur.

Monsieur.

I have been kept waiting five days!

I hear the English Ambassador was kept...

Have you heard Charles has recalled his emissary?

How can a country survive without the monarch?

Do you hear them?

How much longer must we suffer this?

We must not act impetuously.

Impetuously?

Our shores are threatened from abroad, our people cry out for bread, and Louis writes odes to peace and dances the minuet!

What is to become of France with such a king?

The door.

Ignore it, they will go away.

Enter!

Your Majesty.

Ah, Fouquet.

How quick you are.

Pray, forgive the intrusion, but the business that I spoke of, I fear it cannot wait.

Alas, my dear, such are the burdens of monarchy.

Please, leave us.

No, through here.

It leads to your new apartments.

Through this passage we can come and go, unobserved by the Queen and my mother.

Till soon, my one and only love.

Ah, Fouquet, what a delight she is!

Such transparent innocence!

Such incandescent beauty.

She seems demure.

Yes.

Too demure, we must admit.

We are at our wit's end.

Perhaps,

I can help persuade the girl.

You have her confidence?

To some small degree.

If you could but convince her to trust herself to us.

We would be most grateful in return, Monsieur Fouquet.

At Your Majesty's service. Yes, yes, yes.

And now your pressing business.

How could you be so cold-hearted?

Henriette!

The face I see before me, I could easily love.

But the man I find behind the face.

Oh, Louise.

My fan!

I left my fan!

The Queen shouldn't find it there.

You must be mad, Fouquet!

Our twin brother died at birth.

He lives, Sire, I assure you.

That death was the invention of your father's first minister.

Mazarin.

A lie that he told to the King, which he accepted in good faith, the infant was still born.

In fact, he lived.

He was taken away and brought up in a secret place.

On the pretext of sparing your mother further grief, a secret quick funeral was prepared and a coffin was buried.

God knows who was really in that coffin.

One thing is now certain, Sire, it was not your brother Philippe.

But, what could have been Mazarin's motive in all this?

Sire, the first born is rightful heir to the throne.

You are the second son.

Now, he, having in his control the legitimate heir, had the power to manipulate you.

Our own mother would have let her lover Mazarin use us so?

Louis, a puppet king? Precisely.

The very ground we stand upon turns to quicksand.

Fortunately, Mazarin died before he was able to replace you on the throne with your brother Philippe, and the secret died with him.

That is, we thought so until now.

Are you certain beyond a doubt that this is our brother Philippe?

I have myself seen the birthmark.

Forgive me.

Identical,

with the one Your Majesty bears.

What a fool Louis has been to think his crown secure.

Sire, fear not.

I have the pretender in safe custody.

What have you done with Philippe?

Is he safe and sound?

What could be safer and more sound than the Bastille?

The Bastille?

Where better to hide him from Fouquet's spies?

Does he suspect anything?

No, nothing.

He is haunted by the mystery.

It would be an act of mercy to let him know.

We must say nothing yet.

We should tell him his true identity.

You and I are flirting with high treason, my friend.

Let Philippe remain ignorant for his own sake, as well as our own.

The rack can loosen any man's tongue, even that of a prince.

Who has revived this conspiracy against us?

Names.

We cannot point the finger until I have more proof.

Get it!

And when you have it, we will extract our retribution.

Has our brother any property?

Just a small estate in Burgundy, I am told.

Confiscate it!

And, the fate of the pretender?

Not a single drop of royal blood is to be shed in this, Fouquet!

We would not want to tempt providence by condoning regicide.

Wise.

Very wise, Sire.

Also, we cannot forget that this pretender is more than our brother, he is our twin, our mirror image, our other self.

Wound Philippe, and might not Louis bleed?

Kill Philippe, and might not Louis die?

No, we must find some other way.

Sire, I know of a fortress remote and inaccessible.

We leave the place to your discretion.

Most certain.

But know this, Fouquet, we wish never to hear his name again, and no one, no one is ever to look upon his face.

That is why mere confinement will not suffice.

We must devise

something

special?

We want him.

Come.

Where are you taking me?

Île Sainte-Marguerite.


Île Sainte-Marguerite.

Île Sainte-Marguerite, what, what is it?

A place of repose.

As restful as the one I have just left?

Oh, more so, you will have total seclusion and constant personal care.

I see the beginnings of it, thank you, monsieur.

The shackles are merely a temporary measure for your protection in case you might attempt something foolish.

I promise they'll be removed as soon as we arrive.

You promise?

Faithfully.

What are you?

Hmm?

What are you?

A minister.

Not with the church, I'll be bound.

Perhaps I missed my vocation.

The church, oh thank god.

Very good.

Perhaps you missed your vocation.

I admire your spirit, young man.

You come from good stock.

What do you want of me?

It would be unfair to burden your mind with thoughts that might torment you in your secluded night.

Very well.

You should feel complimented.

You are a principal player in a game.

The game of history.

Does that give you food for thought?

I can smell the sea air.

Soon we shall enjoy a brief voyage together.

Hold there.

Stop him!

Get him, you fool!


Stop!

Not the face.

Not the face.

Get in.


No, I beg you, no!

I have done nothing!

Please, I beg you, no!

No!

No, no!

Listen to me.

No one must be allowed to see that prisoner without my express permission or on orders of the King.

As for him, he must never leave this island.

Understood?

Yes, sir.


Why?

Why?

Why?


In the name of God, will no one tell me who I am?

I leave you here.

Some business with the King's tailor for the royal name-day celebrations at Vaux.

It promises to be the event of the season.

And you will attend this extravaganza?

I wouldn't miss it for the world, and neither must you.

What are you up to?

We make our move at Vaux.

The King and all his court will be assembled under one roof.

Prepare Philippe.

This order will release from the Bastille.

Then, bring him to my estate at Bercy, as planned.

Drive on.

Let you see the King's costume?

You must think me mad, monsieur.

No one sees the King's costumes before he wears them.

That would ruin the surprise.

Ah, but that is the point.

You see, Monsieur Fouquet wishes to surprise the King upon his entry into Vaux.

How so?

With a portrait of His Majesty wearing the costume you have designed for the masked ball.

one of France's finest young painters.

Perhaps you've heard of him, Lebrun.

Ah, Lebrun!

A master of detail!

Especially with costumes.

The idea is to have a model pose in the costume, and then paint it in the features of the King.

Admirable!

A delicious surprise!

And a treasure His Majesty will doubtless prize forever.

My finest creations, preserved for posterity!

Of course, if you're still opposed.

Opposed, I, Percerin, opposed to the King's pleasure?

Claude, some wine for monsieur.

One moment.

I beg of you, monsieur, he will surely suspect.

Then it will be both our necks!

And stop shaking.

Monsieur.


Of course, it is nothing without the King himself.

Where did they take him?

Monsieur Fouquet did not say.

All right, all right, leave me!

Captain D'Artagnan.

Captain!

Who are you?

My name is not important.

But...

What?

I know where they've taken him.

Where?

I can trust you.

I know I can trust you.

You tell me where he is, and you may save his life.

Where?

The Île Sainte-Marguerite!

My god, we must get him out of there.

It would take an army to penetrate those walls.

I only have a handful of men.

Brave Musketeers too, but not enough of them to take a fortress.

But we can always try.

Not by force, my friend, by cunning.


Not now, Colbert!

Can you not see we are busy?

I sincerely regret this intrusion, Sire, but these matters will not wait.

For the Coleral to Madrid.

For the ambassadors tonight, Sire.

Really, Colbert, you could not have chosen a more inopportune moment.

And the usual, Sire.

The usual again, Sire.

What have we here?

Merely a release order for a minor offender.

You consider this essential?

For your Name Day, Sire!

This annual demonstration of royal clemency helps to reaffirm your subjects' devotion to you.

They love you the more for your great compassion.

How shrewd you are, Colbert.

Perhaps too shrewd?

There.

Now may we resume our fittings?

Sire.

Let us see the silk brocade again, Percerin.

Your Majesty?

Nothing.

It is nothing, only.

Only what, Your Majesty?

Looking in the mirror just then, a coldness came over us,

as though someone had walked upon our grave.


God, help me!

Dear God, help.

Madness, madness, nightmares, nightmares.

God!

Bring me some sweet dreams.

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams, sweet dreams, sweet dreams.

Bring me some sweet dreams.

Louise.

I shall dream of Louise.

I shall dream of Louise.

Louise.

Louise!

Ah, you're losing your bets.

On the right, of course.

I put money on you.

Come on!

That's it, come on!

Quite!

Sergeant, kill him!

Take care, monsieur!

Lest the King observe your advances.

Excuse me.

Come on!

Come on, cold line, kill him, kill him!

Come on!

And,

thus you keep us both at bay.

What a cunning vixen you have become for one so innocent.

Necessity is my tutor, to my shame.

Come, listen to the fox.

By not yielding to my ardors, you saw your father thrown into prison and ruined.

By rejecting the King's, you risk a fate far worse.

A word to the wise, my pet, the next time the King offers you his favour.


D'Artagnan has been to the Bastille for Philippe.

D'Artagnan?

Then he must know that his pigeon has flown the coop.

A pity he doesn't know where.

He rides at this moment for the coast.

Philippe must not be allowed to reach Paris.

Gently, gently.

I know not who you are, or why you have come to help me.

That can wait, I think.

Are you strong enough to ride?

Just a little light-headed.

Get him ready, there is no time to waste.

I want to talk to you.

Forgive me, monsieur.

Never have I been forced to do so cruel a deed.

They gave you no choice.

Take this, monsieur, so that you may never forget what they did to you.

God be with you.

This man goes free as well.

But, Monsieur Fouquet ordered...

Do you question my authority?

Well, no, Captain. Well, then.

Come, the boat is waiting.


Fouquet.

Fast!

Can you get me in this without locking it?

Yes, sir. Good, give me your cloak.

My cloak, why?

And you get in this.


Now I shall play the Man in the Iron Mask and Fouquet the fool.


To the horses, to the horses!

Will you be all right on foot?

Aye, monsieur, I have a wife and family waiting.

My feet will fly me home!

Godspeed. Godspeed to you.

My Lord, come!

Go!


You three, ride with him.

The rest, follow me.

After them.

I will deal with this.


Are you hurt, sir?

Ride on, sir, we'll hold them here.


Your sword, give me your sword.

Now go!


The King commanded that his life should be spared.

Who is to tell the King?

D'Artagnan?

And lose his neck?

You and I are the only two witnesses.

There is still Colbert.

Colbert.


Captain D'Artagnan!

Captain!


Thank God you're alive.

Back there, you called me My Lord, and then risked your own life to save mine.

I must understand.

What is it you want of me?

Who am I?

You, my prince, are the true king of France.


Is the resemblance really so striking?

You could be his twin.

Difficult to believe.

I've heard the tale of this twin, but they say the child died at birth.

Still, such myths are enough to make you a threat, especially to ambitious men like Fouquet.

A threat or an asset.

D'Artagnan, is my chance resemblance to the King all that lies behind these strange events?

A simple yes from you is all the reassurance I need.

Trust me, please.

What we do here is not for personal gain, but for France.

Oh, thank you, Andre.

Come now.

It's time for you to dress.

There's much for you to learn.

At last!

I'm tired of being the invalid.

Good!

For now I shall teach you to play the King!

Again, and slowly.

When you practise slowly, you learn faster.

And rhythmically, staccato.

Go.

Yes, again.


Saint Louis Francis I.

Left side of the family.

Henry III.

Henry III was my grandfather.

Wrong. Oh, I'm sorry.

Your great grandfather. Yes, my great grandfather.

Henry IV?

Henry IV, my grandfather.

Exactly.

What is your mother's name?

Anne of Austria.

Grandmother.

Marie de' Medici.

Maternal grandfather?

Philip III of Spain! Good.

Paternal grandfather?

Henry IV of France. Good!

Come on.

Parry high, then lunge.

Go!

It's coming very nicely, very nicely.

One, two, chin up.

Chin up.

Louis XIII is my father. Yes.

One, two, three, four.

And one.

What is your date of birth?

September 5th, 1638.

Good!

Two, three, four, reverence.

Very good, very good.

And we do it all over again.

Now, please Jacques.

Your favourite pastime?

Dancing and gambling.

To whom do you liken yourself?

The young god Apollo.

Which name flatters you most?

The Sun King.

Yes, yes, yes, good!

Good!

Again, again, good, good, good, good!

Up!

Who was Cardinal Mazarin?

My father's first minister.

My mother's first lover.

Monsieur Colbert?

Minister of the Interior, friend and ally.

Nicolas Fouquet?

Minister of Finance.

Marked man!

Jacques, bring me that, will you?

If you are to rule this great nation, you must learn restraint.

Keep cool.

In battle or in sports.

Be angry, but in cold blood.


Wait here, my dear.

I promise, I shall be brief.

Monsieur Fouquet, what an unexpected surprise!

Please forgive the interruption, but the King did request that I check his escort for the journey to my chateau.

But, please don't let me interrupt your exercise.

Nonsense, it's a welcome intrusion for an ageing swordsman.

Thank you, Francois, it'll be all for today.

Come, we'll adjourn to the salon for a glass of wine.


You!

The Bastille.

Hi.

How is it you're here?

By such means as neither you nor I could ever comprehend.

My father?

Well, when last I saw him.

Thank God!

Hey, Jacqueline!

You're in danger here.

Come.

Louise!

You remember my name?

Everything about you.

We met a moment, hardly longer.

Yet you remember me.

How could I forget?

I made your father tell me all about you.

We spoke of nothing else.

I even know where you cut your knee when you fell off a pony as a girl.

It is as though I've known you all my life.

I am no longer the child my father spoke of.

What could you see in me now?

How can I explain?

Your finger.

I've dreamt of a moment such as this!

I, too.

Yet I dared not hope.

What needed you to dream with my double so near at hand?

The two of you are worlds apart.

I am revolted by your brother.

What is it?

Brother?

The King!

My brother?

Surely, you knew.

They say the resemblance is purely chance.

They deceive you then.

I, his twin?

You have a birthmark, do you not?

God, it's true, then!

Is there no one I can trust?

No.

You are a king.

Louise?

Fouquet.

My heart, my life are in these hands.

Then both are safe and sound.

Louise!

He must not find you.


Our ballet has bored you, my dear?

Your Majesty misconstrues.

Give us your opinion, then.

Very nice.

Nice?

We are overwhelmed by your praise.

Yet still we fear you prefer your silly rose to our lavish ballet.

Not at all, Sire.

I merely enjoy its fragrance.

You find a simple flower more beautiful than our creation?

Only in that its beauty is natural not painted on or contrived.

There!

You see how transitory your natural beauty is.

Such beauty as Your Majesty has just destroyed will endure in my heart forever!

Louise!

How is it, Fouquet?

She spurns us, she scorns us.

Yet, even now, we're more a prisoner of her charms than ever.

You cannot allow this to continue, madame.

Each day this girl humiliates you more.

Not the girl, madame, but her suitor, your son, who brings disgrace upon our house.

The only disgrace in this household, madame, is our marriage!

In God's name Louis, I am your wife!

Wife?

Nay, say rather burden.

For the sake of France and our beloved mother, we agreed to appease Spain and got this baggage in the bargain.

Louis, you are speaking to the mother of your children.

Aye, and there's a miracle, madame!

Far easier to span Rhodes' harbour than to husband this mountain of sallow flesh.

Oh come, my sweet!

Before you leave, let the world behold the special vision of ecstasy that greets these royal eyes each night when we retire.

May God forgive me.

If I could bear to see my children fatherless, I would wish him dead!

You knew!

All this time you knew, and yet you did not tell me!

Is your faith so shaken that you cannot trust us any further?

If so, all is lost.

You saved my life and rescued me from hell.

Whom else am I to trust?

Well, let me hear the plan.

Simply this, the overthrow of the King during Fouquet's celebration at Vaux.

There is, however, for you, one condition.

What price a crown?

The transition of power must be swift and smooth.

The world must never be aware that any change has taken place.

You must therefore agree to rule as Louis XIV.

As Louis?

For the rest of your natural life.

As first-born, am I not the rightful heir?

Right or wrong has little to do with this.

It's a matter of political necessity.

France is too unstable now to risk a coup.

But what of me?

I am not Louis, I am Philippe!

Am I never to be myself?

What of me?

No.

I refuse to take any part in such a travesty.

What of me, poor Philippe?

Sickens me to listen to such stuff.

These old eyes have seen too much suffering, while you, you lay abed in Burgundy, snug and safe, far from Louis' reach!

Well, my pampered young prince, there were others less fortunate.

Consider, for example, my trusted servant, Andre.

Have you never wondered at his constant silence?

He has no tongue.

They cut it out.

His crime?

This man, the only living witness of your birth, refused to divulge the secret of your whereabouts.

But before you sever a tongue, always try persuasion.

There is a place in the distant Alps, an estate, where the sun is soft, the soil rich and the game plentiful.

You're free to retire there and live out the rest of your life in peace and tranquillity.

Your royal identity forever a secret, your needs amply provided for.

No one will blame you, if you choose the safer road.

Myself?

Or my inheritance?

Your birthright is the Crown of France.

Did you know my father well, D'Artagnan?

Enough to love him ever.

He was a brave man?

There was no braver, gentler man in all Christendom.

It is a pity you never knew him.

And I am his first-born.

I am the rightful heir to his throne.

Claim it, then.

For a while you will have to practise patience, true, but in time your own personality may emerge eventually, blot out all trace of Louis, but not at first.

France could be the envy of the world.

My friends,

I accept.

God save the King.

God save the King.

Perhaps you entered this chateau a servant.

But, you will leave it a king.

If I live to leave, watch what you're doing!

A 1,000 pardons!

One more stroke, I beg of you.

Thank you.

There.

Now, what do you think of that?

I still see Philippe.

One moment please, one moment.

The main feature.

Now what do you see?

An ass.

Magnificent!

His Majesty will be eternally in your debt, Monsieur Colbert, I must congratulate you, and, also the artist.

Ah, but it was never my intention to outshine my host.

The portrait is yours to present to the King.

You are most generous, monsieur!

A token, in appreciation of your kind hospitality.

I will present it to the King this evening at the ball.

Monsieur Fouquet! Hmm?

Conceal it till later.

Lest the King should happen upon it and the surprise be spoiled.

Hang it in the apartments of Mademoiselle de la Valliere.

She defends her privacy as jealously as she does her virtue.

Meanwhile, I would take my leave.

Oh, once again, monsieur, 1,000 thanks for your generosity.

What poet of antiquity first warned us to beware of Greeks bearing gifts?

Watch him.

A little almond paste to whiten the skin, a touch of rouge to cheeks and lips, a bottle or two of sweet perfumes, and the transformation will be complete.

Philippe.

This is the famous costume?

An exact replica of the one His Majesty will be wearing.

How will you tell us apart?

I've taken the liberty of having a subtle distinction incorporated into the design.

Only we four will be aware of the difference.

And Monsieur Fouquet, of course.

Fouquet? Don't be alarmed, everything has its purpose.

Now, come along, my boy.

Monsieur Fouquet is waiting for you to dress him.

Remember, just as we rehearsed.

One false step and.

Monsieur.

Now, let us duplicate a king.

Lebrun's painting is excellent.

Why do you quibble?

I gather no one has noticed the flaw.

Flaw? Nothing serious, of course.

Simply an oversight.

What manner of oversight?

Monsieur must promise not to say a word to my master.

Monsieur Percerin would never forgive me.

I intended to present His Majesty the painting tonight.

Is there something you feel that I should know?

Simply that in making up the duplicate costume, there was an omission.

Duplicate costume, what duplicate costume?

Why, the one Lebrun used as a model for his painting.

You see, it has a purple sash.

Well?

Well, that is what the King is wearing in the portrait!

A purple sash.

Careful.

Careful, I said.

I, fail to see the significance.

But the King will be wearing a white sash tonight, don't you see?

White?

Exactly.

Monsieur Percerin changed his design at the last minute.

Naturally, it was too late to change the portrait.

I can only pray His Majesty will not detect the oversight.

What has become of this duplicate costume?

I believe Monsieur Colbert still has it.


Exquisite!

I'm sure the Queen will find Your Majesty quite irresistible.

The Queen?

What an appalling prospect!

It is Louise de la Valliere whose praise we crave.

Hurry, we will surprise her with a private showing before the ball!

We go.

D'Artagnan!

She is here.

But not alone.

If I can't fool her maid, I'll never fool the whole court.

Your point is well taken.

I must see her.

All right, all right, but hurry.

Fouquet will be in the King's apartment at any moment now.

He must find you there, not Louis.

It is indeed a tribute to Monsieur Lebrun's art that he is able to improve upon perfection.

But then it does not speak, the ultimate improvement.

Improvement.

Your Majesty.

A thousand pardons, my dear.

I merely came to return this.

Henriette, please leave us.

What miracle is this?

I thought you were the King!

Soon, God willing.

It was foolish to come here.

It is maybe my last chance to see you.

Hear me out.

If tonight's adventure goes awry, promise me that you will disavow our love.

I would rather' cut the heart from my breast.

For your own safety, it is vital that you never knew me.

I could not do it.

Oh, I love you.

If I am king before this night is through,

I must rule with Louis' name, and not my own.

And with the Queen as wife, and not Louise.

I could never openly proclaim our love.

Oh, Philippe, hold me, I'm so afraid.

Your Majesty.

What sort of prank is this?

Who dares impersonate the King?

But of course, a hoax.

A jest prepared by our clever host.

Our apologies, dear Louise.

For a moment, we were sincerely duped,

yet, much more than mere charade.

This impersonator.

So perfect.

So convincing.

You!

Will you not embrace me, brother?

Guards, help me!

What?

Help me!

Not me, you fool, there is the impostor.

What?

Treason and conspiracy.

He dares to impersonate the King.

Do not listen to this treachery, Fouquet!

There is the usurper, take him!

Here's your man.

Fool, are you blind?

D'Artagnan speaks the truth.

Duval.

Arrest him.

What are saying?

This is madness!

Arrest him.

But surely, you must be mistaken.

Here is your man!

I am Louis!

I am Louis!

I am your sovereign!

Silence him!

I am... Silence him.

Forgive me, Sire, for having been so blind.

Your Majesty,

what is your desire?

Has not the King already once decreed his brother's fate?

So.

Let it stand.

So, I know of the plot that was perpetrated against you.

And I promise that there shall be retribution.

Indeed.

Majesty.

Ah, the ball.

We shall proceed as if none of this had happened.

As for you, Captain.

Majesty.

We would feel more secure with you at hand.

Do not leave our side tonight.

I am your servant, Sire.

My dear.

Until later.

Fouquet!

Return him to the Île Sainte-Marguerite, as ordered by the King.

His Sublime Majesty, Grand Monarch of France, Louis XIV!


Your Majesty.

Monsieur Fouquet.

Please accept this occasion as token of my deep devotion to continue in your service need be my only reward.

Majesty.

Mother.

Your Majesty.

My son?

I have never seen, I have never seen you looking more beautiful.

Why, Louis.


Madame.


You're not yourself this evening, my husband.

I am as constant as the sun.

Your dancing is misdirected.

You dance as always, my dear.

If my eyes did not tell me otherwise, I would think the man with whom I am dancing is not my husband.

1,000 pardons, my dear.

If not your husband, who might he be?

An impostor.

Were that the case, surely you would be alarmed, madame.

I am rarely taken by surprise.

And unlike your mother, I can afford

the best informants.

It follows then, that you would be ready for this usurper.

Most likely.

Ready to expose him?

I would have little to gain.

Except, perhaps, your return to my bedchamber, little gain.

Better your own husband, madame, than some total stranger.

Quite the contrary.

Am I to understand that you would not betray this phantom impostor?

Let us say this usurper could guarantee that you would be no less the Queen than you are now.

But I would have to be sure that my children were secure, and that they might maintain their right to the succession of the throne.

Would you take the word of such a man?

If he did not keep his word, he would lose his head.

As you would have to hold your tongue or lose yours.

Just so.

But this is, this is absurdity.

I intend to enjoy a long and fruitful reign.

And so you will, Sire.

With my blessing.

If you would excuse me, I should wish to retire.

I do not desire to spoil Your Majesty's pleasure.

Good night, then, madame.

God be with you.

God be with you, Louis.


Congratulations, monsieur!

Your ball seems a great success.

More than you imagine, I'll wager.

Less than you imagine, I'll wager.

Colbert, one of your problems has always been that you tend to take your bows before the final curtain falls.

Your trouble, Fouquet, is you never realise when the play is over.

You see, tomorrow, when His Majesty has departed from Paris, you'll be arrested on the charge of misappropriation of state funds.

Chevalier Duval will be taken into custody as an accessory.

My, dear Colbert, I hate to inform you that your plot to depose the King and replace him with his brother Philippe upon the throne has been foiled.

That is Louis XIV.

On that point at least we can agree.

In which case, you will be the one to be arrested tomorrow morning on charges of conspiracy and treason.

Poor Fouquet, look at them again.

What has become of de la Valliere's revulsion for the King?

Or could he suddenly have changed overnight?

Oh, come now, she won't be the first reluctant maid that he has

won over.

My, we do need convincing, do we?

Well, perhaps, a reminder of a certain young apprentice tailor in my employ.

The sashes.

All that trouble, and you never noticed.

Duval.

Too late.

They've already left for Sainte-Marguerite on your orders.

The King!

The King, Fouquet, is dead.

Long live the King!

Long live the King!

Listen well, jailer.

These are His Majesty's orders, therefore they must be obeyed without question.

The prisoner is quite mad.

I am Louis!

He believes himself to be the King.

I am King!

He is, therefore, most dangerous and must never leave this cell.

Louis.

No one is to visit him, save you.

No one is to speak to him, including you.

And when, one day, his food remains uneaten, you will provide mortar and bricks, and seal in the entry to this cell.

Then, send word to Paris that the Man in the Iron Mask lives no more. Louis!

Louis!

Louis!