The Count of Monte Cristo (1975 film)

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The Count of Monte-Cristo
The Count of Monte-Cristo (1975).jpg
Written by Alexandre Dumas, père (book)
Sidney Carroll
Directed by David Greene
Starring Richard Chamberlain
Kate Nelligan
Tony Curtis
Donald Pleasence
Trevor Howard
Isabelle de Valvert
Theme music composer Allyn Ferguson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Norman Rosemont
Cinematography Aldo Tonti
Editor(s) Gene Milford
Running time 119 minutes (European version)/ 105 minutes (American version)
Original release 10 January 1975 (1975-01-10)

The Count of Monte-Cristo is a 1975 television film produced by ITC Entertainment and based upon the book The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père. It was directed by David Greene and starred Richard Chamberlain as Edmond Dantes, Kate Nelligan as Mercedes, Tony Curtis as Fernand Mondego, Louis Jourdan as De Villefort, Donald Pleasence as Danglars, Trevor Howard as Abbé Faria, and Isabelle de Valvert as Haydee. ITC had previously produced a 39-part TV series based on the same source material, in 1956.

This version was nominated for two Emmys: Richard Chamberlain for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Special Program - Drama or Comedy, and Trevor Howard for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Special.

This version tends to emphasize the complex psychological drama that unfolds in which Dantes manipulates characters until the final swordfight with Mondego. The courtroom scene in which Dantes brings down crown prosecutor De Villefort is a highlight of the film, as is the scene between Dantes and Mercedes when he reveals Mondego's treachery to her (which occurs almost precisely as in the novel). However, important characters are omitted and several scenes differ from the novel. Villefort's wife for instance, never appears, and there is no mention of her ever having poisoned anyone. In the novel, it is Mondego rather than Danglars who commits suicide, and Dantes and Mondego do not engage in a swordfight. As in the novel, Dantes loses Mercedes because of his vengeful bitterness. Haydee has only a minor role in the film, and there is no indication that she and Monte Cristo become lovers as in the book.

In contrast to other film versions, this one was originally made for television in the days before the VCR or DVD player. First shown nationally on NBC in 1975, it was annually featured on a local station as an evening movie.[citation needed] The present videocassettes do not include the commercials, but the timing and scene shifting remain. This tends to mimic the book by Dumas, which also shifted scenes between the characters.


Characters Omitted[edit]

  • Luigi Vampa
  • Maximilian Morrel
  • Heloise Villefort
  • Edouard Villefort
  • Marquis Saint-Méran
  • Marquise of Saint-Méran

External links[edit]