The Iron Rose

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Revision as of 09:59, 2 October 2012 by Narcan (talk | contribs) (New review, credits, pics and poster added)
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Iron Rose Poster 01.jpg
The Iron Rose French Poster

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Also known as

  • La Rose De Fer (France)
  • La Rosa Di Ferro (Italy)
  • Die Eiserne Rose (Germany)
  • La Rosa De Hierro (Spain)
  • The Crystal Rose (UK)

Main Details

  • Released in 1973
  • Color
  • Running Time: 80 Min.
  • Production Co: Les Films ABC (France)

Cast and Crew

  • Directed by Jean Rollin
  • Written by Jean Rollin & Maurice Lemaitre
  • Produced by Sam Selsky
  • Starring Francoise Pascal, Hugues Quester (as Pierre Dupont), Natalie Perry, Mireille Dargent, Jean Rollin, Michel Delesalle
  • Music by Pierre Raph
  • Cinematography by Jean-Jacques Renon
  • Film Editing by Michel Patient

Film Review

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Jean Rollin’s 1973 film ‘The Iron Rose’ is one of the director’s most lyrical and oneiric works. Almost completely lacking a plot it concerns two young lovers who become lost in a cemetery one night. For fans attuned to Rollin’s peculiarly idiosyncratic work it is quite simply a dream come true although it’s non-narrative preoccupations are likely to have those viewers expecting nude vampires or living dead girls scratching their heads in bemusement. The film’s commercial failure was apparently anticipated by Rollin himself who decided to persevere in making this a personal project.

The graveyard is an uncanny location dislocated from time and Rollin’s camera investigates every fascinating aspect, from broken statues and crooked headstones to wrought iron crosses and wilting flowers. The film is loaded with symbolism that resonates on a subconscious level and every frame is imbued with a melancholic, morbid atmosphere of damp and decay; a visual hymn to the grave as it represents the ultimate destination of all living things.

Rather than proceeding with a traditional synopsis, which seems somewhat inappropriate in this instance, I’ve decided to try a little experiment in Grindhouse poetry! Here then is a review of the story and themes in this most poetic of films rendered in the form of a poem that I hope is in keeping with the tone of the movie. Here goes . . .


  • The iron rose is washed ashore
  • It’s petals heavy in her hand
  • A sombre omen to be sure
  • A shadow upon shifting sands
  • The shy boy recites poetry
  • Seducing her to make a date
  • While fog settles over immobile trains
  • The carefree youths pursue their fate


  • Breath held in the cemetery
  • Passing time now standing still
  • The anxious boy has lost his watch
  • It slipped his wrist inside the crypt
  • While you and she were making love
  • The warming sun suddenly set
  • Casting night-time’s silent spell
  • Over the living and the dead


  • The lovers lost amongst headstones
  • And frantic to escape the grave
  • Kick and scratch and bite in fear
  • But life or death it’s all the same
  • The iron rose in a statues hand
  • A magic symbol, a secret key
  • Ballerina in the garden of the dead
  • The iron rose will set you free


  • You have found forever friends
  • Asleep among the roots of trees
  • Inevitable as the grave
  • The iron rose returns to the sea


Reviewed by Narcan - 02 OCT 2012

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