In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France. The visiting Count of Monte Cristo falls for Zona...
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In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France. The visiting Count of Monte Cristo falls for Zona and undertakes to help her, masquerading as a foppish banker and a masked freedom fighter. The rest is rapid-fire intrigue and derring-do. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thirteen years after making this film, in which he played the villainous ruler of a fictitious country called "Lichtenburg" (an obvious combination of the real-life small countries Lichtenstein and Luxemburg), George Sanders played a sympathetic role in the musical "Call Me Madam," also set in "Lichtenburg." See more »
THE SON OF MONTE CRISTO (Rowland V. Lee, 1940) ***
I had watched this via a recording off local TV a few years ago and, though I subsequently erased it, I remember enjoying the film. As with director Lee's SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939), it's rather talky but never boring and emerges as an agreeable, though slightly overlong, swashbuckler (even if occasionally bordering on camp).
The same director had previously made THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) and this sequel to it re-unites the stars (Joan Bennett, Louis Hayward) and writer (George Bruce) of the definitive screen version of yet another Alexandre Dumas classic, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (1939) - directed, interestingly enough, by James Whale. Incidentally, these two
both, as is THE SON OF MONTE CRISTO itself, produced by independent
Edward Small - are perhaps the classic adventure films I would most like to watch and I wonder which DVD company owns the rights to all three titles...
Still, the film is equally influenced by THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934) - in its hero's dual personality of fop/crusader - and THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937) - the Ruritanian setting - and, despite being a 'B' movie at heart, it's stylishly handled (with Oscar-nominated art direction/set decoration). It also makes the most of its fine cast: good leads, wonderful villainy from George Sanders, a nice role for Ian Wolfe (billed "MacWolfe"!), and including three actors from Universal's Frankenstein saga - Lionel Belmore (as a bartender), Michael Mark (hilariously made up as a bishop) and Dwight Frye (in a 10-second bit as an embassy official).
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