IMDb > The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)

The Son of Monte Cristo (1940) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 14 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
The Son of Monte Cristo -- In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France...


User Rating:
6.3/10   410 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
George Bruce (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Son of Monte Cristo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 January 1941 (USA) See more »
In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Louis Hayward steals all hearts See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Louis Hayward ... Edmund Dantes Jr.

Joan Bennett ... Grand Duchess Zona of Lichtenburg

George Sanders ... Gen. Gurko Lanen
Florence Bates ... Countess Mathilde Von Braun
Lionel Royce ... Col. Zimmerman
Montagu Love ... Prime Minister Baron Von Neuhoff

Ian Wolfe ... Conrad Stadt (as Ian Mac Wolfe)

Clayton Moore ... Lt. Fritz Dorner
Ralph Byrd ... William Gluck
Georges Renavent ... Marquis de Chatante
Michael Visaroff ... Prince Paul Pavlov

Rand Brooks ... Hans Mirbach
Theodore von Eltz ... Captain
James Seay ... Lt. Stone

Henry Brandon ... Lt. Schultz
Jack Mulhall ... Schmidt
Edward Keane ... Turnkey
Ernie Adams ... Informer
Stanley Andrews ... Turnkey
Maurice Cass ... Max, Tailor
Michael Mark ... Archbishop
Charles Trowbridge ... Priest
Ted Oliver ... Turnkey
Wyndham Standing ... Chamberlain
Lionel Belmore ... Hercules Snyder
Margaret Fealy ... Mrs. Snyder
Charles Waldron ... Kurt Mirbach (as Chas. Waldron Sr.)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Barrows ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Extra in Mirbach's Shop (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Max (uncredited)
Dick Curtis ... Guard (uncredited)

Donald Curtis ... Guard (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Friend of Von Neuhoff (uncredited)

Dwight Frye ... Pavlov's Secretary (uncredited)

Lawrence Grant ... The Baron (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Guard (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Wedding Guard (uncredited)
Jerry Jerome ... Bit Role (uncredited)
George Lollier ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Walter McGrail ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Alberto Morin ... Friend of Von Neuhoff (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Officer (uncredited)
Dirk Thane ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Victor Zimmerman ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Rowland V. Lee 
Writing credits
George Bruce (screenplay)

Alexandre Dumas père  novel (uncredited)

Produced by
Rowland V. Lee .... producer
Edward Small .... executive producer
Original Music by
Edward Ward 
Cinematography by
George Robinson 
Film Editing by
Arthur Roberts  (as Arthur E. Roberts)
Production Design by
John DuCasse Schulze 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle  (as Edward Boyle)
Costume Design by
Edward P. Lambert 
Makeup Department
Don L. Cash .... makeup director
Production Management
Val Paul .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph Boyle .... assistant director
Lambert Hillyer .... second unit director
Sound Department
Charles Althouse .... sound
Richard V. Heermance .... re-recording editor (as Richard Heermance)
Special Effects by
Howard A. Anderson .... special effects
Chuck Hamilton .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Jerome .... stunts (uncredited)
Other crew
Grant Whytock .... assistant to producer
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

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


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Louis Hayward steals all hearts, 11 July 2002
Author: Igenlode Wordsmith from England

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 :-)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (18 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Three Musketeers The Three Musketeers The Three Musketeers The Mask of Zorro Fortunes of Captain Blood
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.