This elaborate period piece crafted by versatile young director Ho Meng Hua is a Chinese variation of the famous 'The Man Behind the Iron Mask' legend based on the rule of French King Louis XIV and immortalized through the writings of Dumas and Voltaire only this time the story is supplanted into the environs of ancient dynastic China during the time of the Warring States. In this grand Shaw Brothers/Korean co-production, Korean movie idol Shin Yeong-gyun headlines to play a despotic and decadent Chinese emperor who cruelly imprisons the King's righteous and humble identical twin brother (also played by Shin) forced to wear a hideous forged steel mask shielding his face to suppress his rightful place on the throne. With the help of small a band of patriotic rebels, a beautiful young princess sojourning from a neighboring kingdom and betrothed to the king played by 'Asian Movie Queen' Li Ching employs her charm and finesse to uncover the King's plot and rescue the condemned brother. This Shaw Brothers film delivers palace intrigue and adventure in a grand spectacle tradition of Hong Kong cinema's Golden Age. Also cast are the impressive medieval fortress sets that double for the stone crypts and walls of the notorious Bastille Saint-Antoine.
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