The Iron Rose (1973)

AKA La rose de fer

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Okay, this is sort of funny. So I’m watching this on TCM. It’s about 10 minutes in and the two main characters are on their first date and biking around town (and I am incredibly bored. More-so because it’s late and I didn’t know I’d be watching subtitles, but I digress). I’ll admit, some arthouse films I like more than others.

So far all I’ve seen is a boring wedding reception and these two running around a fog filled train yard. There’s been very little dialogue and I’m thinking about changing the channel. Anyway, the two characters bring their bikes to a stop in front of a stone and wrought-iron fence and spew forth the largest string of dialogue uttered in the film so far:

Man: Are you tired?
Woman: Yes a little.
Man: Lets stop here……

And I swear to you the first thought in my head was, “Dear God, I hope they get lost in a cemetery somewhere…”

Guess where I find out they stopped in front of not 5 seconds later…..

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Art thou kidding?

Well, color me shocked.

Suffice it to say I was right on the money (Could my brain, without conscious thought, concluded that large fences located in the middle of European towns usually contain a cemetery or a park and it mearly picked the more morose of the two? Sure. But I prefer to think that I’m psychic.)

What follows is a muddled tale about love, eroticism, and death.

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That would be a cherub’s fingerless hand she’s lovingly caressing.

Once they reach the cemetery the movie pretty much transitions from the annoyingly dull to creepy surreal, as the characters slowly loose their marbles when they can’t figure out a way to escape all the damn tombs. On the plus side, it makes their characters 1000% more interesting than they’ve been up to that point. But on the down side the film becomes kind of hard to describe and still have it make much coherent sense. This may or may not be someone’s cup of tea and is going to greatly colour one’s appreciation of the film. But one thing I can say about The Iron Rose that I think everyone who views it can agree on, is that it is dripping with atmosphere and that it is, without a doubt, beautifully shot.

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And I guarantee that by the time it’s half way through you’ll want to shoot the male lead for being an overly dramatic idiot. (Though, if what I’ve read up on is correct, nobody on set liked him much.)

So, what did I think about The Iron Rose? Honestly, I was a bit disappointed at first, as my tv guide labeled it as a “horror” movie. It is not. It certainly works on one of the fundamentals of horror, the fear of getting lost, but it is far more surreal than horror. So if you like those kinds of movies, this is right up your alley.

The Iron Rose is currently available to rent on Amazon.

It has also received a very nice Bluray release.

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