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The Count of Monte Cristo
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Film & TV Adaptations > Film - The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Christine | 1217 comments This thread is for the discussion of the various film adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Beware, you may encounter SPOILERS in this thread!

Some of the film adaptations are listed here:

2002 - The Count of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel

1934 - The Count of Monte Cristo starring Robert Donat

1998 TV Miniseries - The Count of Monte Cristo starring Gerard Depardieu

1975 TV Movie - The Count of Monte Cristo starring Richard Chamberlain

2004 TV Series (Anime) - Gankutsuou - The Count of Monte Cristo *See preexisting thread here

message 2: by Christine (last edited Jan 23, 2015 12:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 1217 comments After reading the novel earlier this month and loving it, I was excited to watch a film adaptation. Last night I saw the 2002 film starring Jim Caviezel, and I was very disappointed!

The film is only loosely based on the novel. I realized that many parts of the plot would have to be left out to fit the story into a feature film, but I was infuriated by all the ways they changed the story! *SPOILERS AHEAD!*

To start with, the first scene of the film shows Edmond and Fernand (?!) coming ashore from their ship where the captain is dying to seek medical help for him - on ELBA - where Napoleon Bonaparte personally asks Edmond to deliver some correspondence for him. I can only assume the filmmakers made this change because it was easier to communicate to the audience the political implications of this correspondence (somewhat understandable given the time constraints). The captain dies anyway, and the ship returns to Marseille.

In Marseille, we see Morrell award Edmond the position of Captain, and see Danglars become furious and resentful, similar to the novel. We also meet Mercedes, see that Fernand has the hots for her, and see she and Edmond have sex on a beach. I was puzzled about this, but assumed it was just to make the film sexier. WRONG! This comes into play at the end of the film.

The section on Edmond's arrest, imprisonment, and meeting of Abbe Farias roughly follows the book with some details removed and some action and violence added, and something about a tradition between Edmond and Fernand about exchanging a chess piece in competition. He is rescued after his escape by the nefarious Luigi Vampa, who becomes his good friend.

Edmond makes his return to Paris apparently immediately after finding the treasure, where he throws a giant party Jay Gatsby-style and makes his entrance in a hot air balloon like the Wizard of Oz. Edmond then goes to Rome where he pays Vampa to kidnap a 15 year old Albert, then "rescues" him in a mock sword fight to win his affection.

Edmond takes his revenge on Danglars by exposing him for stealing money from a shipment, and then Danglars is nearly hanged to death as the result of a fight in the shipyard with Edmond. Danglars seems to be a pretty minor character in the film.

Edmond tricks Villefort into admitting that he hired a hitman (Fernand!) to murder his father soon after Napoleon's return. Edmond arranged for the police to be listening in, and Villefort is arrested. (There appears to be no Madame Danglars in the film.)

The worst part of the film for me was Edmond's relationship with Mercedes. Mercedes recognizes Edmond (as she does in the novel), but in the film she has NEVER forgotten him and soon they end up lovers again. In the film, Villefort told Mercedes that Edmond was executed a month after his imprisonment (as payment for Fernand's hired murder of Villefort's father), so she had immediately married Fernand. WHY, you ask? Because she was pregnant with Edmond's baby! That's right, Albert is actually EDMOND'S son! And Fernand has been a horrible husband. After all this is revealed, Fernand shoots Mercedes (she doesn't die) and tries to kill Edmond, but they have a sword fight and Edmond kills him instead. And Edmond, Mercedes, and Albert live happily ever after. Along with Edmond's one servant/right-hand-man Jacopa (played by Luiz Guzman) whose performance sometimes seemed to be almost for comic relief - maybe??

And Haydee, Valentine, Maximilian, and all the other characters don't exist.

THE END! Horrible movie.

Glenna | 69 comments Christine that was the version I watched and I agree horrible adaptation!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I LOVE the Jim Cavaziel version. It's great!

message 5: by Jaimee (last edited Mar 06, 2015 04:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jaimee | 45 comments Lol, Christine. I'm sure I would feel exactly the same way you do if I watched the movie for the first time after reading the book.

However, I saw the movie first and really enjoyed it. But I had read reviews saying that the movie is completely different than the book. They are just so different that I have to view them as two separate things, because the movie was good and the book was great but it clearly was not the same story.

Christine | 1217 comments Jaime wrote: "Lol, Christine. I'm sure I would feel exactly the same way you do if I watched the movie for the first time after reading the book.

However, I saw the movie first and really enjoyed it. But I had..."

You know, I think you have a very good point. Everyone I have talked to that has seen this film but has NOT read the book says that they really liked the movie. I think I just liked the novel so much that I should not have even tried to watch an adaptation! ;-)

Jaimee | 45 comments That's true. The movies are NEVER as good as the book. I usually can't stand them- especially when they change important things.

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