Golden Raspberry

Film on Friday

So many movies, so little time.  If you love movies, but simply don't have the time to watch them, we have an alternative for you:  come to the American Treasure Tour to enjoy our collection of vintage movie posters.  We know it's not the same thing, but it counts for something, and we have a wide array of variety in the posters we display; however, as with our music, much of it does ultimately come back to Elvis Presley.  Why?  Because he made so many top-selling records at the height of his popularity.  AND he was in so many movies!  

Elvis’ nineteenth film (out of thirty, give or take) was released in 1965 (one of three films he put out that year).  It tells the story of an American movie star, Johnny Tyrone, who travels to the Middle East to premiere his newest film. He is seduced by an exotic local, then kidnapped by a man who tries to get him to help assassinate the king. Johnny meets a slave girl named Shalimar, who also happens to be the royal daughter. Of course, Johnny frees her, saves the king, and is a hero to all.  Much of this film would likely seem familiar to fans of silent film, as it not only used the set upon which Cecil B. DeMille shot his famous 1927 silent The King of Kings, but is loosely based on the story made famous by Rudolph Valentino in 1921’s The Sheik.  A harmless film, it actually has the distinction of being a favorite among “so bad their good” movie fans.  It received a special call out by the founders of the Golden Raspberry Awards.  And if you don’t know what they are, here you go:

The Man in the Iron Mask

QUESTION:  The Three Musketeers are Athos, Aramis, and…?
A)  D'Artagnan
B)  Porthos
C)  Pathos
D)  Pierre

Alexandre Dumas is one of the best-loved and prolific authors of the nineteenth century. French by birth, his novels tapped into a love of adventure that inspired translations into almost one hundred different languages. Eventually, two hundred interpretations of his films would also be created over the years.  Of course, Dumas' most famous characters are the Three Musketeers, colorful characters who created waves during the reign of Louis XIV. He serialized their stories during the day, including one loosely based on the true story of The Man in the Iron Mask. The "real" man in the iron mask was a prisoner of the king from right around 1670 until his death in 1703. One of the great mysteries of history is who the man was. Dumas contended that he was the twin brother of the king. 

Around a dozen interpretations of the story of The Man in the Iron Mask have been made since its first interpretation in 1909, but the one displayed in the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour is from 1998. Its international cast includes Leonardo diCaprio, Jeremy Irons, Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich, and even a Frenchman - Gerard Depardieu! The storyline only nominally follows the inspiration of Dumas, with the greatest differences being the character of the king versus that of his imprisoned brother. In Dumas' original, some of the Musketeers actually consider Louis XIV to be a better option as leader than his brother, while in the 1998 film written, directed and produced by Randall Wallace, Louis XIV was presented as evil and dangerous. A financially successful film, The Man in the Iron Mask was crititcally panned. DiCaprio even 'won' a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple, due to a lack of chemistry between his Louis XIV and his identical twin brother Phillippe.  C'est la vie.

ANSWER:  B)  Porthos.  D'Artagnan would have been the fourth Musketeer if there was such a thing.