The Iron Mistress (1952)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Biography

The Iron Mistress (1952) Poster

The life of nineteenth-century pioneer Jim Bowie is portrayed.



  • The Iron Mistress (1952)
  • Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo in The Iron Mistress (1952)
  • Alan Ladd in The Iron Mistress (1952)
  • Alan Ladd in The Iron Mistress (1952)
  • Gordon Douglas and Virginia Mayo in The Iron Mistress (1952)
  • Alan Ladd and Anthony Caruso in The Iron Mistress (1952)

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Cast & Crew

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Gordon Douglas


James R. Webb (screenplay), Paul Wellman (novel)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

13 April 2017 | Ed-Shullivan
| Fact or Fiction this is still a great adventure/action film...with a clever twist at the end
Okay so let's first get this fiction out of the way. Jim Bowie as portrayed in The Iron Mistress as the true romantic and a gentlemen hero is more fiction than fact based on folklore and "he said, she said". In real life historians have acclaimed Jim Bowie as a somewhat shady land purveyor who in 1831 after he married nineteen- year-old Maria Ursula de Veramendi, then in 1983 he lost his wife and two children to cholera and began to drink a lot and thereafter not caring anymore about his attire.

But film producers do not necessarily have to note in advance and/or clarify that some parts of their film may be embellished or that the facts may not all be known. I for one really enjoyed Alan Ladd in the lead role as the folklore hero Jim Bowie and his long lost love affair with the attractive Judalon de Bornay played by Virginia Mayo. There were at least three (3) different scenes in the film where Judalon de Bornayand and adventurer Jim Bowie were caught in an embrace and Judalon can be deliberately seen rolling her eyes and smirking directly towards her film audiences in our seats and telling us that she does not really love Jim Bowie and is just using him to get what she, murder, and to cause more trouble.

As Jim Bowie would eventually say to his former love Judalon de Bornay "no Judalon I don't think we can be together, you have caused the death of at least eight (8) men and that is enough." I am a big fan of Alan Ladd and especially the classic westerns (Shane) and adventure films (Boy on a Dolphin) that he starred in. There is one scene in particular in The Iron Mistress near the end of the film that is a very clever twist where by accident or by premonition Jim Bowie is indirectly responsible for the sudden fate of two of his male combatants and his former love, Judalon. This particular scene for me wrapped up the film in a neat little and justifiable bow that reminds me that this is only a film based on a real life person whose reputation precedes him as a dashing, handsome and daring adventurer.

Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo played their parts exceptionally well so if you like good adventure/westerns/biographies then you will most likely enjoy The Iron Mistress which the title is based not on a woman, but on Jim Bowie's specially designed hunting knife.

I give the film an 8 out 10 rating.

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