LEO'S DOUBLE TROUBLE; You Get Two Di Caprios for Your Money in This Historical Yarn but SIMON ROSE Has Some Reservations

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THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK

(12, RENTAL)

When Titanic was released to buy on video in America at the beginning of the month, customers queued up at midnight to grab their copies, even though the film is still playing in cinemas. It has taken $600 million in the States and double that overseas.

The teenage girls who so love this film are not attracted by its historical aspects. It's Leonardo DiCaprio they're interested in and they wanted to be among the first to watch their heart-throb in the privacy of their own home. British Titanic fans will have to wait until October 19 to get a copy. In the meantime, admirers of the boyishly-handsome DiCaprio have been renting everything else he's appeared in.

Bizarrely, this has pushed rentals of the obscure art film Total Eclipse through the roof. Despite gay sex, wife beating, shootings and stabbings, it remains a monumentally dull movie. But the young female audience is interested less in its 19th Century French poetry than the fact that it remains, to date, the only film in which DiCaprio has removed his kit. (Parents, note, it carries an 18 certificate.)

Although some would argue that, as an actor, Titanic was not his finest hour, DiCaprio revealed himself as an outstandingly capable actor very early on.

After co-starring with Robert De Niro in This Boy's Life, he was nominated for an Oscar at 19 for his superb portrayal of a mentally-retarded boy in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? …