Edmond Dantes is imprisoned in the Chateau d'If without trial, for carrying a message from Napoleon in exile on Elba. After being told that he died in prison, his fiancé Mercedes is forced to marry his rival Count Mondego. Twenty years later, Dantes escapes with the help of the Abbe Faria, who leaves him the treasure of Monte Cristo. Dantes, now called the Count of Monte Cristo, plans his revenge on the three who framed him. Written by
Frederic March was the original choice for the title role. See more »
During the fencing duel between Dantes and Mondego, in one brief shot near the end Sidney Blackmer holds his sword in his left hand instead of his right, which he does in the rest of the scene. This was obviously a shown in reverse as is often done to add footage. See more »
When I found out what I could about a person, it made a good little boy out of me.
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Fabulously wealthy and mysterious, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO becomes intimately involved in the lives of three powerful men in Paris.
Alexander Dumas' classic novel comes to abridged life in this powerful adventure film. There is very little swashbuckling and a good deal of talk, but it is all done so intelligently and the film, with its lavish production values, is so entertaining to watch that the diminution of dash & drama is easily overlooked.
Robert Donat portrays stalwart Edmond Dantes, the much abused hero, from a young ship's officer caught up in Napoleonic intrigue, to a wretched inmate doomed to oblivion in a hideous prison, and finally the middle-aged and tremendously powerful Count, and he plays it all exceedingly well. This is an actor, now in danger of becoming somewhat obscure, who performed valiantly in films throughout his career, consistently providing characterizations worth watching.
Donat dominates the film; in support are Elissa Landi as the woman who never gives up loving him; Louis Calhern, Sidney Blackmer & Raymond Walburn as the three men from Marseilles who each have their own reasons for wanting Donat dead; and elderly O. P. Heggie as the saintly priest who becomes Donat's mentor & friend in prison.
Smaller roles are vividly enacted by Lionel Belmore as the corrupt Governor of the Château d'If; corpulent Ferdinand Munier as a highly distraught King Louis XVIII; Luis Alberni & Clarence Muse as smugglers who become Donat's willing accomplices in his quest for revenge; Douglas Walton as Landi's conflicted son; and Holmes Herbert as the judge at Donat's Paris trial. Sour-faced Clarence Wilson appears for a few moments as a supporter of Donat.
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