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Wanted! Man in the Iron Mask(1977)

No, not that pretender movie with Leo Dicaprio. While I am a big fan of Gabriel Byrne(good Irishman you know), John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, and Jeremy the voice Irons, I am put off by the liberties taken with Dumas' story. I vastly prefer the 1977 version with our fine American actor Richard Chamberlain. Dicaprio's Louis/Phillipe would have his arse kicked by Chamerlain's personnas. It a worthy swashbuckler at a time in history when the genre(other than the 3/4 Musketeers) was taking a bit of a beating. Ralph Richardson, Louis Jordan, and the stalwart Patrick McGoohan were all top flight in the supporting roles.

This would lead you all to think that I should have this DVD safe in hand for viewing at my leisure, yes? No. It's not easy finding this film whether it be on VHS or DVD. I have a VHS copy taped from tv almost twenty years ago and it's showing the ravages of time and the earth's magnetic field. I fear it won't last another few years and it will be unviewable. So, a google search turns up some used VHS copies on ebay and Amazon for shady prices and unsure quality. The only DVD version I can find is region 2, PAL format. I have that situation covered. The last DVD player aquired for my daughter was easily unlocked to region "0" with a remote code entry. Voila`, instant world DVD player. It has the PAL capability too so I've got the format covered as well. The only DVD references I can find are http://tinyurl.com/ntcy4 and http://www.richardchamberlaintribute.com/ManIronMask.html
and http://www.play.com/play247.asp?pa=pfa&page=title&r=R2&title=5582
There are other references to this movie on DVD but these are the main ones that actually amount to anything. Actually, link #2 is more about the movie itself but will give you an idea of what I'm looking for. The last link from play.com is great but they don't ship to the U.S. Bummer as this is(I think)an American made movie. Maybe one of our UK friends could do a bit of local scouting and see if this DVD is available. I would be more than willing to recompense someone for sending it to me. I would only ask that you open the package and play the movie at home first to see if it plays okay. I have gotten bad discs before even if they were new. Besides, you'd get to see a great swashbuckler. Thanks for any help.

Regards, Todd
Is this what you want? It does say 1976, not '77 but Amazon often gets this stuff wrong. Amazon.co.uk will ship internationally.
Well thanks for all the quick repsonses. Sue, that is the version but unfortunately, the VHS is PAL format and my vcr doesn't do that. The new DVD player we have DOES do this format. I surely thank you for the effort.

Alex, Livingston. I found those links but of course couldn't find a picture on the one link either. The most frustrating thing about this movie on DVD is the slipshod way in which Amazon and others list it. The link Alex provided shows the picture and lists the movie at 101 minutes. I've also seen this movie listed at 111 minutes. Needless to say I don't want the shorter version. Likely this is just a typo by Amazon. I ran into a link for this the other day for an Australian version that listed it a 111minutes. So, a few emails are in order. Livingston's link seems to show the same movies sans photo but the internet addy is a bit different. Wow, it shouldn't be this difficult to find a single movie! Thanks again, I'll likely buy through Amazon if the shipping isn't astronomical.

Regards, Todd
Phog Allen, NTSC has a lower level of detail than the Pal standard (can't remember the exact figures) consequently the same film in the different standards will have a different running time.
Thank you Alex. I'd never really thought that the formatting would make a difference in running time but yeah, it sure could. Thanks again for the link. I did up a mock order through Amazon uk and even with shipping, it will only be about $15 U.S. I can live with that.

AJS said:
Phog Allen, NTSC has a lower level of detail than the Pal standard (can't remember the exact figures) consequently the same film in the different standards will have a different running time.

How does that work then? Surely if a film is 90 minutes long it'll be 90 minutes long in either format.
Hi John. I'm not 100% sure but I believe that when video(or audio for that matter)is "re-formatted", I suspect that the type of software or format is going to have an influence on the final total amount of Mb of data that results. I don't do the Mp3 thing myself but it would be interesting to hear from someone who does whether the differing bit rates affect running time by a few seconds. I suspect that a two hour-ish could be influenced by a few minutes total either way. Maybe?

Regards ,Todd
Jonnybc said:
How does that work then? Surely if a film is 90 minutes long it'll be 90 minutes long in either format.

I used to have an article on this phenomenon, but as usual I can't find it when I need it. If you want a full and detailed explanation you'd be better off purchasing a dvd/ hi-fi specialists magazine. However if you check the running times of films from US sources i.e Amazon.com or Maltin's film guide with UK sources like Amazon.co.uk or Halliwell's Film Guide you will notice the difference in running times between the same film. For the average runnong time of 90-120 minutes there is usually a difference of between 7- 15 minutes in the two different standards.
I'm not sure how you're going to do this but there's a Amazon Marketplace seller on the UK site that's calld Caimain USA and as the name suggests they're based in the USA, they're listed 16th on this page. It might be worth contacting them to see if they can get it to you.
Right then, I've been doing some searching and I think I might have found it. go to http:www.caiman.com and put The Man in the Iron Mask in as the search for DVDs, it comes up as the third entry, this is the page but it's not too informative.
Hi John. Yes, our newest DVD player is multiregional and multi-format. It will play NTSC/PAL(maybe SECAM as well but I'm not sure). It's a paltry $55 U.S. at Walmart. http://tinyurl.com/jbzlgIt comes as a region 1 player but it's basically Philips' world player. It goes by slightly different model numbers depending on where you buy it. The current rendition is model #DVP5140/37 in the U.S. I went to a DVD hacks page and found a code you enter via the remote and it makes it region "0". Technically there is no region zero, it just means that the player is not wedded to any particular region. Some players will do this but do NOT have the PAL capability. The bad thing is, there are 'net companies out there selling their special multi-region players for jacked up prices when a goodly number of them are modifiable in this manner. The code I entered allowed me to set it at zero so we'll see when the new disc arrives. I have seen serveral reviews at that hack site that said it worked fine. I saw that link from Amazon.uk and even with shipping it's only about $15 but I will check out your link too. Thanks for the help with the search. It's surely appreciated.

Regards, Todd
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