The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 film)
|The Count of Monte Cristo|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kevin Reynolds|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum
|Screenplay by||Jay Wolpert|
|Based on||The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
|Music by||Edward Shearmur|
|Edited by||Stephen Semel
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures|
|Box office||$75.4 million|
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. 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 Dantés, Second Mate of a French merchant vessel, and his friend Fernand Mondego, representative of the shipping company, seek medical help at Elba for their ailing captain. Napoleon Bonaparte, having kept his guardians from killing the pair, exchanges his physician’s services with Edmond for the delivery of a letter to a Monsieur Clarion.
In Marseille, the company owner Morrell commends Edmond for his bravery, promoting him to captain over First Mate Danglars, who gave Edmond explicit orders not to land at Elba. Edmond states his intention to marry his girlfriend, Mercédès, whom Fernand lusts after.
Fernand and Danglars inform on Edmond, concerning the letter Fernand saw Napoleon hand him, to the city’s Magistrate, Villefort, who has Edmond arrested. Villefort prepares to exonerate Edmond until he learns the letter is addressed to his father, a Bonapartist; he burns the letter and orders Edmond locked up in Château d'If. Edmond escapes, and turns to Fernand for help, but Fernand holds him up and turns him over to the pursuing gendarmes. Edmond is consigned to the island prison and its sadistic warden, Armand Dorleac. Villefort has Fernand assassinate his father in exchange for persuading Mercédès that Edmond has been executed for treason and that she should take comfort in Fernand.
Six years later, Edmond is startled in his cell by an eruption in the ground; another prisoner, Abbé Faria, has dug an escape tunnel. For seven years Faria educates Edmond in all facets of scholarship, including swordplay, in exchange for his help in digging a new escape route. Faria dies in a tunnel cave-in; before expiring he reveals a map to a treasure that Napoleon had imprisoned him for when he refused to produce it. Edmond escapes by switching himself for the priest’s body in the body bag, and is thrown into the sea, pulling Dorleac along with him, whom he drowns.
Edmond encounters a band of pirates preparing to execute a fellow, Jacopo; their leader, Luigi Vampa, decides justice, and entertainment also, would be better served by pitting Edmond and Jacopo in a knife fight. Edmond wins, but spares Jacopo, who swears himself Edmond’s man, and Edmond works for the pirates until they arrive in Marseille.
Edmond learns from Morrell, who does not recognize him, that Fernand and Danglars are complicit in his betrayal, and that Fernand and Mercédès have wed. With Jacopo, he locates Faria's treasure, and establishes himself as a Count in Parisian society.
Edmond ingratiates himself to the Mondegos by staging a kidnapping and rescue of their son, Albert. He lures Fernand, Villefort and Danglars into a trap by letting slip the notion that he has located the treasure, and is shipping it through Marseille; Danglars is caught red-handed, Villefort is arrested upon confessing that he ordered the hit on his father, but Fernand escapes.
Mercédès recognizes her former fiancé. Eventually, she softens him, and they rekindle their relationship. As Fernand prepares to flee, she tells him that Albert is Edmond’s son.
Fernand encounters Edmond in the ruins of an estate where he hid what he thought were chests full of the treasure but contain nothing but dirt. Albert intervenes when Edmond attempts to kill Fernand, but Mercédès tells him of his true parentage. Fernand leaves, firing a shot that wounds Mercédès, and rides away, but changes his mind upon realizing that he has nothing left to live for; he rides back and calls Edmond out. The two fight to the death; Edmond prevails.
Edmond purchases Château d'If, intending to raze it, but instead leaves it standing as he swears to the spirit of Faria to use his vast resources for nothing but good.
- Jim Caviezel as Edmond Dantès
- Guy Pearce as Fernand Mondego
- James Frain as J.F. Villefort
- Dagmara Dominczyk as Mercedès Mondego (née Herrera)
- Luis Guzmán as Jacopo
- Richard Harris as Abbe Faria
- Michael Wincott as Armand Dorleac
- Henry Cavill as Albert Mondego
- Albie Woodington as Danglars
- JB Blanc as Luigi Vampa
- Alex Norton as Napoléon
- Patrick Godfrey as Morrel
- Freddie Jones as Colonel Villefort
- Helen McCrory as Valentina Villefort
- Christopher Adamson as Maurice
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." At Metacritic, the film received a score of 61 out of 100, with generally favourable reviews.
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."
|The Count of Monte Cristo OST|
|Soundtrack album by Edward Shearmur|
|Released||25 January 2002|
- "The count of Monte Cristo budget". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)". IMDb Pro. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- The Count of Monte Cristo at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Count of Monte Cristo, The". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "The Count of Monte Cristo (Soundtrack)". Retrieved 2009-02-07.
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