Count of Monte Cristo
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Robert Donat stars in this classic swashbuckler based on the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas. It tells the story of Edmond Dantes, a common seaman falsely accused of spying during the Napoleonic Wars. Imprisoned without trial in the infamous Chateau d’If, he spends over a decade in solitary confinement. With the aid of a fellow captive, he makes a daring escape. Once outside, he fabricates a stately new identity as the Count of Monte Cristo and vows to bring the villains who framed him to justice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hen's Tooth did a pretty good job cleaning this up from the original fine grain print for what they had to work with. I'm sure if a major company got their hands on it, it would have silkened a bit more. However, I can't complain. This is as crisp and clean as I've ever seen it.
Donat's Edmund Dantes is like Connery's James Bond. Yes, there have been other fine actors who carried the role but nothing quite like this. He has always been a fair-skinned actor. Given that plus the fine grain film and soft focus lens in the production, it's like watching a ghost. The additional cast of villains is just solid. Calhern's DeVillefort is just chilling, and Walbern's Danglars is the perfect skunk. Sidney Blackmer playing the role of the Spaniard Mondego definitely seemed miscast at first, but it worked well overall with the atmosphere.
Also, if you're a nitpicky fan of the book, and have never seen this, the story adjustments may well knock your head back. I won't reveal too much, although I will say that the fates of the three villains (not four; Caderousse is completely absent) are completely flipped around from both the book and the Chamberlain version from 1975. It was certainly "Hollywoodized", and the film moves along at a surprisingly fast clip. Given the time it was made (1934), that was a common tactic in filmmaking. Overall, getting this DVD in the mail, I feel like Edmund finally getting the Spada fortune!
The Count can not be filmed as written...too long, too many sub plots, too unwieldy........so, adapting requires a lot of creativity. This movie veers from the book a lot particularly in the end, but it is well adapted and the story flows very well. I like this screenplay better than the 2002 version.
The movie itself is pure delight...Elissa Landi is a great Mercedes, Robert Donat is magnificent as the Count, the actor,O.P. Heggie, who played the blind hermit in the Bride of Frankenstein does a wonder job as the Abbe, and film noir icon Louis Calhern makes a great villian as the magistrate who sends Edmund to prison.
The pace, editing, and crisp dialogue all combine to make this the Count you want to keep.....great transfer on the dvd with darned good audio. Highest Recommendation!!
Robert Donat Is Wonderful
WHY WHY IS THIS MOVIE NOT ON DVD