Friday, September 24, 2010


This wonderful tan velvet and lace heavily beaded period gown was worn by actress Joan Bennett in the 1939 version of the Alexandre Dumas classic “The Man In The Iron Mask”. Bennett portrays the character of Princess Maria Theresa. The film was directed by James Whale who is best known for his direction of film horror classics such as “Frankenstein” and “The Invisible Man”.

William Bridgehouse designed costumes for the film. The film was made at United Artists studios.

This famous costume adventure tells the story of a twin brother of Louis XV kept hidden away in a prison and forced to wear an iron mask to hide his identity. This was the second of five screen versions.

Louis Hayward co-starred with Bennett in the dual roles of Louis and his brother.

Make up for the film was executed by the Max Factor studio. It was not uncommon for make up tests to be conducted together with costume tests for the film. Below is Joan Bennett in costume for her make up test for the film.

A great piece of period film costume history from the year that is always remembered as being the best year in Hollywood history!

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