'The Count of Monte Cristo' is a remake of the Alexander Dumas tale by the same name. Dantes, a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand, who wants Dantes' girlfriend Mercedes for himself. Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d'If for 13 years, where he plots revenge against those who betrayed him. With the help of another prisoner, he escapes the island and proceeds to transform himself into the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo as part of his plan to exact revenge. Written by
The scene where Morrell goes to Villefort for Edmond's release has a tragic twist in the book. Edmond is accused of being a Bonapartist, and Morrell is himself a Bonapart supporter. The plea is made during the Hundred Days when Napoleon had returned to power. Thus, with Villefort's encouragement, Morrell is convinced that the best way to secure his release under Napoleon's regime is to claim in a letter that all the charges against Edmond were true, thus making him a loyal servant of the Emperor. Villefort; being a stout Royalist, and far from convinced that Napoleon's return would be permanent; never delivers the letter to Napoleon, instead simply adding them to Edmond's case file, thus essentially proving the state's case against him when King Louis XVIII is restored to power. See more »
When Edmund and Abbe are attempting to catch a rat, shoes are visible through the trap on the door right as it closes. See more »
Here is your final lesson: do not commit the crime for which you now serve the sentence.
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It is the trap into which the adapters of many classic novels fall: the supreme arrogance of thinking that you can "improve" a classic narrative. If Dumas were alive today, he would have demanded that his name be stricken from the title and the title itself removed from the movie.
All of the elements of a riveting movie are present in Dumas' novel: intrigue, betrayal, adventure, vengeance, and romance. Unfortunately, Kevin Reynolds used very little of the material in his film version of "The Count of Monte Cristo". He kept a majority of the characters: Edmond, Mercedes, Fernand, Albert, and Danglars. However, he carelessly changed their relationships, motives, background, makeup, and plot points to create his own story. As for the plot itself, Reynolds kept only a bare minimum for his purposes: Edmond Dantes was engaged to a beautiful girl, was betrayed by people he thought were his friends, imprisoned injustly by a man looking to protect himself. In prison, he came upon a father figure who on his deathbed gave him the whereabouts of a great treasure. Dantes boldly escapes, is rescued by a pirate ship, and wreaks vengeance upon his enemies.
Reynolds incorporates these points in his movie. Almost everything else contained in his movie is a creation of his own mind, not that of Dumas.
The movie is entertaining if you can forget it's origin. My only hope is that it might move some viewers to actually read the novel. Therein, they will find a masterwork of depth and resonance. How sad that Reynolds couldn't have trusted that source material enough to bring it to the screen.
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