The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 film)

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The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Produced by Gary Barber
Roger Birnbaum
Jonathan Glickman
Screenplay by Jay Wolpert
Based on The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
Starring Jim Caviezel
Guy Pearce
Richard Harris
James Frain
Dagmara Dominczyk
Luis Guzmán
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Andrew Dunn
Edited by Stephen Semel
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release dates
  • 25 January 2002 (2002-01-25)
Running time
131 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Box office $75.4 million[1]

The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure drama film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, père and stars Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, and Richard Harris.[2] It follows the general plot of the novel (the main storyline of imprisonment and revenge is preserved); but many aspects, including the relationships between major characters and the ending, have been changed, simplified, or removed; and action scenes have been added. The film met with modest box office success.


In 1815, Edmond Dantès (Jim Caviezel), Second Mate of a French trading ship, and his friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), a representative of the shipping company, head to the isle of Elba to seek medical attention for their ailing Captain. Dantès and Mondego are chased by British Dragoons who believe they are spies for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte (Alex Norton). Bonaparte himself comes to their aid, stating that they are not his agents. As payment for using his physician, Bonaparte asks Dantès to deliver a letter to a certain "Monsieur Clarion" in France. The Captain dies, however; and they leave Elba. On returning to France, Dantès is reprimanded by the ship's First Mate, Danglars (Albie Woodington), for disobeying orders. However, the company's boss, Morrell (Patrick Godfrey), commends Dantès' bravery, promoting him to Captain over Danglars, who is left fuming. Mondego intercepts Dantès' fiancée, Mercédès (Dagmara Dominczyk), and tries to seduce her. When he hears of Dantès' promotion, Mondego realizes that Dantès and Mercédès would soon be married.

A bitter Mondego gets drunk and tells Danglars about the letter Napoleon gave Dantès. Danglars informs on Dantès, who is charged with Treason and called before a magistrate, Villefort (James Frain). Villefort believes Dantès to be innocent and is about to release him when he realizes that the addressed is his own father (Freddie Jones), a Bonapartist. Horrified, he burns the letter and has Dantès sent to the island prison, Château d'If. Dantès escapes en route and seeks Mondego's help, but Mondego betrays and wounds him so he cannot escape. Dantès is imprisoned in the Château d'If, which is controlled by the sadistic Armand Dorleac (Michael Wincott). Meanwhile, news spreads that Napoleon has escaped from Elba. Mondego, Mercédès, Morrell and Dantès' father (Barry Cassin) go to Villefort to plead Dantès' innocence; but Villefort dismisses them. Unknown to the others, Mondego and Villefort are in league; and Villefort informs Mercédès that Dantès has been executed.

In prison, Dantès befriends Abbé Faria (Richard Harris), an elderly priest and former soldier in Napoleon's army. Faria was imprisoned for refusing to reveal the location of the deceased Count Spada's vast fortune. For thirteen years, Faria educates Dantès, teaching him Mathematics, Literature, Philosophy, Economics, hand and sword combat and military strategy. When they attempt to escape, their tunnel caves in, mortally injuring Faria, who gives Dantès the location of Spada's treasure before dying. When the guards put Faria into a body bag, Dantès changes places with the corpse and is thrown into the sea, taking Dorleac with him, whom he promptly drowns.

Dantès washes onto a desert island and encounters Luigi Vampa (JB Blanc), a smuggler and thief, and his band of pirates. Dantès is made to fight Jacopo (Luis Guzmán), a traitor whom they intend to bury alive. Dantès defeats Jacopo but convinces Vampa to spare his life; Jacopo vows to serve Dantès thereafter. Dantès joins the smugglers, leaving with Jacopo when they arrive at Marseille. He visits Morrell, who doesn't recognise him. Dantès learns that, while he was in prison, his father committed suicide, Danglars took over Morrell's shipping company after being made a partner, and Mercédès married Mondego. Dantès goes to the island of Monte Cristo, finds Spada's treasure and vows revenge on his betrayers, taking the persona of the mysterious "Count of Monte Cristo". In Rome, he hires Vampa to kidnap Mondego's son Albert (Henry Cavill) and then "rescues" and befriends him, revealing selective information about Spada's treasure that he knows will be told to Albert's father. In return, Albert invites the count to his birthday party at their residence in Paris. Dantès meets with Villefort to discuss a shipment. Mondego and Villefort are now convinced that Monte Cristo has found Spada's lost treasure and plot to steal it.

At the party, Mercédès recognizes Dantès, with whom she is still in love. Jacopo allows her to hide in Monte Cristo's carriage to speak with him, wanting his master to abandon his obsession with revenge and simply live his life. Dantès turns her away and denies being her former lover, but he gives himself away when he accidentally uses Edmond's last name. As Danglars' men are stealing Monte Cristo's cargo for Mondego, he is confronted by Dantès, with the police in tow. Danglars fights Dantès, who reveals his true identity before having Danglars arrested. Dantès gets Villefort to confess that he made a deal with Mondego to kill his father in return for telling Mercédès that Dantès was dead. Villefort is arrested and realizes Monte Cristo's true identity before being imprisoned.

Mercédès confronts Dantès, admits that she is still in love with him, and they make love. The next morning, Dantès decides to take Mercédès and her son and leave France. Dantès has Mondego's debts called in, bankrupting him. Mercédès confronts Mondego, telling him that Albert is Dantès' son; she only married him to hide his true paternity. Mondego leaves for his family estate, where the stolen gold shipment was to be taken. He finds that the chests are filled with dirt and sand and that Dantès has arrived to take his revenge. Dantès disarms Mondego, but Albert rushes to defend him. Mercédès also arrives and reveals that Dantès is Albert's father. Mondego shoots Mercédès, but she is only wounded. Mondego has a chance to get away but, having lost everything, has his own desire for revenge. Mondego and Dantès fight; Dantès stabs Mondego through the heart, killing him. Dantès returns to Château d'If to pay homage to Faria and promises him that he will live a better life with those who love him. With his revenge complete, Dantès leaves the island with Mercédès, Albert and Jacopo.



The Count of Monte Cristo was well received by critics with a rating of 73% based on 143 ratings at Rotten Tomatoes with critics conceding that it was an "entertaining tale of revenge reminiscent of those swashbuckling movies made in the 1940s."[3] At Metacritic, the film received a score of 61 out of 100, with generally favourable reviews.[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4 writing, "The Count of Monte Cristo is a movie that incorporates piracy, Napoleon in exile, betrayal, solitary confinement, secret messages, escape tunnels, swashbuckling, comic relief, a treasure map, Parisian high society and sweet revenge, and brings it in at under two hours, with performances by good actors who are clearly having fun. This is the kind of adventure picture the studios churned out in the Golden Age--so traditional it almost feels new."[5]


The Count of Monte Cristo OST
The Count of Monte Cristo soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by Edward Shearmur
Released 25 January 2002
Recorded 2001
Genre Soundtrack
Length 53:03
Label RCA

The Count of Monte Cristo Official Soundtrack was composed and conducted by Edward Shearmur and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.[6]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
SoundtrackNet 3.5/5 stars link
Track listing
  1. "Introduction" – 1:56
  2. "Landing on Elba" – 3:33
  3. "Marseille" – 4:23
  4. "Betrayed" – 3:52
  5. "Chateau d'If" – 4:26
  6. "Abbe Faria" – 2:24
  7. "Edmond's Education" – 0:58
  8. "Training Montage" – 1:54
  9. "Escape from the Island" – 7:24
  10. "Finding the Treasure" – 2:52
  11. "Invitation to the Ball" – 2:12
  12. "Involving Albert" – 2:47
  13. "After the Party" – 3:06
  14. "Retribution" – 5:29
  15. "End Titles" – 5:47


External links[edit]