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.