Wednesday, March 5, 2014


 This is just incredible and to have survived so amazingly well. Here is an absolutely breathtaking petal pink satin period costume gown worn by Joan Bennett as Princess Maria Theresa in the film 'The Man in the Iron Mask' (United Artists, 1939).

The costume is embellished with gold applied crowns, artificial pearls and gold lamé trim and bows. This is an amazing example of what really went into fabric choices for costumes in black and white film and what was really lost to the general public going to see these films and not getting the full effect of these unbelievable colors.

The bodice is boned with puffed sleeves, and the skirt is trained with a partial gold lamé underskirt.

There is a United Costumers label reads "No 25G Joan Bennett" in the skirt and an "S. Goldwyn" stamp to the interior of the bodice.

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

Here is a beautiful photo of the rear showing the amazing period train. 

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.

The costume appears in a number of stills with Joan Bennett. The gown was glamorous enough to be well photographed and used in a number of production stills.

The costume was sold at auction late last year and you can see video footage of the gown as it was displayed at the auction house. You can see the intricate detail of the gold crowns and how wonderfully the satin has survived.

Louis Hayward co-starred with Bennett in the dual roles of Louis and his brother.
the film. Below is Joan Bennett in costume for her make up test for the film.

Please also look at the second gown I have worn by Joan Bennett in this film also.

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


  1. "what was really lost to the general public going to see these films and not getting the full effect of these unbelievable colors." Except that the production was designed to appear at it's visual best in black and white. Now a days everything is in color and the movies stink. Hooray for b&w films!

  2. I could not agree with you more! Well said!

  3. The gown is simply gorgeous - in black & white and in color.

    1. And just amazing to see it having survived so well!

  4. Beautiful gown. Do you also have something from The Young Victoria? I think that movie is underrated and the costumes are beautiful as well!!!

    1. I wish I did Lila! They gowns from that film are so beautiful :)