The Son of Monte Cristo
|The Son of Monte Cristo|
|Directed by||Rowland V. Lee|
|Produced by||Edward Small|
|Written by||George Bruce|
|Music by||Edward Ward|
|Edited by||Arthur Roberts|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||102 minutes|
The Son of Monte Cristo is a 1940 American black-and-white film produced by Edward Small, directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, and George Sanders. The Small production uses the same sets, and many of the same cast and production crew as his previous year's production of The Man in the Iron Mask.
The film takes the same name as the unofficial sequel to The Count of Monte Cristo, namely The Son of Monte Cristo, written by Jules Lermina in 1881. Using elements from several romantic swashbuckler's of the time such as The Prisoner of Zenda and The Mark of Zorro the production also mirrors the situation of Continental Europe in 1939-1940.
In 1865, the proletarian General Gurko Lanen becomes the behind the scenes dictator of the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg located in the Balkans. Gurko suppresses the clergy and the free press and imprisons the Prime Minister Baron Von Neuhoff. The rightful ruler of the Grand Duchy the Grand Duchess Zona, hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France and makes her escape pursued by a troop of Hussars loyal to Gurko. She is rescued by the visiting Count of Monte Cristo in the area on a hunting trip. The Count escorts her to a neutral country, but Gurko's Hussars violate international neutrality to return the Grand Duchess and her lady-in-waiting back to Lichtenburg.
The count has become romantically enamoured of Zona and undertakes to help her, visiting the Grand Duchy where he falls in with the underground resistance movement of Lichtenburg. He befriends the loyal Lt. Dorner of the palace guard who knows a variety of secret passages leading from the Grand Ducal Palace to the literal underground catacombs of the Grand Duchy. Discovering that Baron Von Neuhoff is to be executed, the Count gains entry to the palace through his previously being asked for a large loan of French Francs by Gurko and plays the role of a cowardly fop international banker. There he overhears Gurko meeting with the French Ambassador who raises the issue of human rights in the Grand Duchy. Gurko counters him by saying he is signing a non aggression pact with Russia protecting Lichtenburg from any French threats. Gurko schemes to gain the nation's loyalty by marrying the Grand Duchess and keeping the Russian pact a secret.
The count becomes a masked freedom fighter named "The Torch" after the underground newspaper in order to save the Grand Duchy. The rest is rapid-fire intrigue and derring-do.
- Louis Hayward as Edmond Dantès, Jr.
- Joan Bennett as Grand Duchess Zona
- George Sanders as Gen. Gurko Lanen
- Florence Bates as Countess Mathilde
- Lionel Royce as Col. Zimmerman
- Montagu Love as Baron Von Neuhoff
- Ian Wolfe as Conrad Stadt
- Clayton Moore as Lt. Fritz Dorner
- Ralph Byrd as William Gluck
- Georges Renavent as French Ambassador
- Michael Visaroff as Pavlov
- Rand Brooks as Hans Mirbach
- Theodore Von Eltz as Captain
- James Seay as Lieutenant
- Henry Brandon as Sgt. Schultz
- Jack Mulhall as Schmidt
- Edward Keane as Turnkey
- Lawrence Grant as Baron
When the spirit of justice is crushed in one country, men will rise to defend it in all countries- Edmond Dantès, Jr., the Counte of Monte Cristo
- p.64 Richards, Jeffrey Swordsmen of the Screen: From Douglas Fairbanks to Michael York Routledge, 1977
- Robert Donat, Jack Oakie and Other Stars to Glisten on R.-K.-O. Program: Small Closes Deal for Reliance Films Kiepura's Next European Feature in Charge of "Casta Diva" Director; Jean Arthur and Melvyn Douglas to Join Talents Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 Jan 1936: A15.
- News of Hollywood By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 01 Dec 1939: 27.
- "NY Times: The Son of Monte Cristo". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Son of Monte Cristo.|
- The Son of Monte Cristo at the Internet Movie Database
- The Son of Monte Cristo at AllMovie
- The Son of Monte Cristo is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Jules Lermina's Son of Monte Cristo
- Watch "The Son of Monte Cristo" on YouTube