On Screen: “The Count of Monte Christo”

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Alexandre Dumas’ 1844  novel “The Count of Monte Christo” was based, the story goes, on real events that took place in Paris in 1807. My “classics” reading at my small high school was limited to “The Red Badge of Courage” and “Catch-22,” so I’ve yet to read this work or Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”…but at my sister’s urging I saw the movie.

One day I’ll get to the book, but as for the movie, I can say it was very enjoyable. Jim Caviezel, who starred in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was was also excellent in “Frequency,” one of my favorite films, portrays Edmond Dantes, falsely imprisoned by jealous friends and banished for life to the Chaeatu d’If, where he is tortured. Jay Wolpert’s screenplay isn’t totally faithful to Dumas’ book (so says my son Zachary, who DID read it), but it has all the flavor and the adventure and revenge you’d want, plus great scenery and a few nice doses of humor. The wonderful Richard Harris plays Abbe Faria, the Italian priest who secretly tutors Dantes.

“Prepare for adventure,” the movie’s promo says. “Count in revenge.” Indeed.

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One Response to On Screen: “The Count of Monte Christo”

  1. Alan says:

    While deployed I read through an “abridged” version of only 400-500 pages (small type). This is a very complicated novel with lots of characters whose actions interweave. I’ve seen this film. It, like most others (a dozen or so) falls far short of the story told in the novel. The mini-series version with Gérard Depardieu was much closer to the novel. The version you saw ends with the Christo going off with his intended. The novel ends differently (sorry no telling). The correct ending is critical to the whole theme, revenge and the price one pays, etc.

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