Down 1,153 this week

The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)

Passed  -  Adventure  -  10 January 1941 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 385 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

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... See full summary »



0Check in

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive + 1 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 25 Mar 2011
a list of 182 titles
created 27 Oct 2011
a list of 408 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 6997 titles
created 2 months ago
a list of 615 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)

The Son of Monte Cristo (1940) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Son of Monte Cristo.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Beautiful Jenny Hager finds she can always get what she wants from the men in the 1820's port of Bangor, Maine. Freed by his death from her drunkard father she soon manoeuvres herself into ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer, Douglas Sirk
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders, Louis Hayward
Kit Carson (1940)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Trapper Kit Carson and his band of men join John C. Fremont on his way to California. Enroute they are subjected to Indian attacks that are propagated by the Mexican Government, that does ... See full summary »

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: Jon Hall, Lynn Bari, Dana Andrews
Sundown (1941)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Englishmen fighting Nazis in Africa discover an exotic mystery woman living among the natives and enlist her aid in overcoming the Germans.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, George Sanders
Captain Kidd (1945)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The unhistorical adventures of pirate Captain Kidd revolve around treasure and treachery.

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A self-made success is determined to give his son the lavish upbringing he himself was denied. Not surprisingly, the son grows up to be spoiled rotten, causing grief and pain to everyone who loves him.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Madeleine Carroll, Brian Aherne, Louis Hayward
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Owen Waterbury, bestselling novelist, recruits aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord as his latest of many secretaries. The stars in her eyes fade when she finds she is to work in his ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Martin
Stars: Laraine Day, Kirk Douglas, Keenan Wynn
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
The Count of Monte-Cristo (TV Movie 1975)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young officer, falsely imprisoned by his jealous "friends," escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge.

Director: David Greene
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Trevor Howard, Louis Jourdan
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fighting over an inheritance, one Pyncheon brother frames the other for murder.

Director: Joe May
Stars: George Sanders, Margaret Lindsay, Vincent Price
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag & her two sons - a malicious dwarf and a brutish moron, kills virgin brides, steals their bodies, & extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Louis Hayward, Barbara Britton, George Macready
Bitter Sweet (1940)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In order to avoid an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love, Sarah Millick runs off to Vienna with her music teacher, Carl Linden, whom she does love. They are married. In Vienna, ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, George Sanders


Cast overview, first billed only:
Edmund Dantes Jr.
Grand Duchess Zona of Lichtenburg
Gen. Gurko Lanen
Florence Bates ...
Countess Mathilde Von Braun
Lionel Royce ...
Col. Zimmerman
Montagu Love ...
Prime Minister Baron Von Neuhoff
Conrad Stadt (as Ian Mac Wolfe)
Lt. Fritz Dorner
Ralph Byrd ...
William Gluck
Georges Renavent ...
Marquis de Chatante
Michael Visaroff ...
Hans Mirbach
Theodore von Eltz ...
James Seay ...
Lt. Stone
Lt. Schultz


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Montecristo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


[first lines]
Colonel Zimmerman: Turnkey! Bring out the prisoner William Gluck.
Turnkey: Yes, Colonel.
[opens cell]
Turnkey: Come out!
William Gluck: I thought you were in a hurry to get me in.
See more »


Followed by The Return of Monte Cristo (1946) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Louis Hayward steals all hearts
11 July 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

It is almost invariably a bad sign when the villain of the piece utterly steals the show in the first ten minutes - even when said villain is played by the inimitable George Sanders. I was seriously tempted to give up on this film before the eponymous Count had made his (delayed) appearance; indeed, memory suggested that on a previous occasion I had actually done so. To have missed the remainder of this charming film, however, must now rank as one of my most serious misjudgements so far!

George Sanders is superb as the ruthless Gurko Lanen, but a performance of this calibre in the role of the villain holds the danger of overbalancing the film in the absence of a totally outstanding performance on the part of his opponent. But the introduction of Louis Hayward's slender, charming Monte Cristo as an outsider into the cliche'd Ruritanian mix proves to be the vital spark that not only saves the film but catapults it to rank as a joyous classic of its genre. As Gurko Lanen sardonically observes, it is an adversary with a sense of humour who is dangerous.

No-one could claim originality for the plot. There are strong echoes of 'The Mask of Zorro' to be found, as our well-born young hero alternates the pose of a fop - suffering the scorn of his ladylove - with the role of masked defender of the downtrodden masses. But expectations are constantly subverted; like its title character, the film has the endearing knack of not taking itself too seriously.

This is one hero, for all his skill, who has been known to lose when launching himself gaily into battle against overwhelming numbers of his rival's henchmen; who takes his nom de guerre at the whim of a moment from the banner heading of an underground news-sheet; who shrugs off his enemy's imprecations and his lady's upbraiding both alike, with a merry grin; who clearly takes enormous enjoyment in sending himself up by playing the part of a foppish banker to deflect General Lanen's suspicions. In a nod to the Dumas original, the tool that gains him access to the General's plans and confidence is the prospect of a banking loan from the fabled Monte Cristo fortune, and despite his title the young Count is able to point out that, like Gurko Lanen, Edmond Dantes the elder was a self-made man.

For, if the hero is not entirely infallible - and all the more likeable for it - neither is the villain entirely without our sympathy. As we see in the opening scenes, Lanen is neither a fool nor a coward, and despite his cultured suavity he is the son of a stonemason, and proud of it; a gifted peasant who has dared to aspire, first to the rulership of his tiny country, then to the hand of the greatest lady in the land, the Grand Duchess herself. It is not a romance that the audience can possibly favour - the would-be suitor is too old, too brutal, too jaded to be a suitable match for young Zona - but it is hard not to wince at the haughty manner in which his courtship is dismissed. To this viewer at least, the proposal sounded genuine, evoking the old proverb that 'if she would not take him, still the lady might make him' - but any possibility for redemption is lost by the all-too-evident contempt of the Grand Duchess for the low-born upstart General.

(And I never could see why Baron von Neuhof's arrest for plotting to bring in Louis Napoleon's troops in order to return his own faction to power gets dismissed as "trumped-up charges", when Lanen's last-ditch resort to a similar bargain with the Tsar is trumpeted as a vile betrayal of his country....)

It's obvious from the start that this is one villain who is going to give the hero and his allies a run for their money; and so he does. Monte Cristo's flattery doesn't fool the General for an instant, though he is prepared to tolerate the fop as long as he remains useful, and the identity of the spy who ultimately betrays 'The Torch' has been skilfully established from the very first scenes. As soon as Lanen's suspicions are aroused he contrives, with only a little manipulation of those most loyal to his audacious guest, to discover both his secret identity and his concealed escape route in time to have him arrested and thrown in jail.

Ruthless and resourceful to the very last, Gurko Lanen keeps us gasping as he gambles everything to achieve his aims. Yet above all, it is Louis Hayward, in the irrepressible part of Edmond Dantes the younger (surely a kindred spirit of Simon Templar?) who really brings the picture to life. It will take all the wit and daring of an opponent as ingenious and endearing as the Son of Monte Cristo to stop the General... with a little help from Zona, who at the crucial moment yet again subverts the genre by saving herself!

Bloopers are few, although the Grand Duchess' achievement in adhering side-saddle behind her rescuer on the rump of a galloping horse is little short of miraculous, as is the apparent availability of sticky tape in 1865 for silencing the mouth of the Russian ambassador! During Lanen's balcony speech, a distant off-stage voice can faintly be heard prompting him line by line; while it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the character would have had a prepared speech 'cued' to him in that situation, I somehow doubt that this was intentional :-)

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great Movie! PACman66
Discuss The Son of Monte Cristo (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: