Miscarriage of Justice, Escape From Prison, Out For Revenge
Lavish, Sweeping, Tense, Rousing
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1, 2, 3
US Box Office
UK, USA, Ireland
Country Of Origin
UK, USA, Ireland
The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 romantic adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is the tenth adaptation of the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, père and stars Richard Harris, James Caviezel, Dagmara Dominczyk, Guy Pearce, and Luis Guzman. 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 character of Sultan Ali Pasha's daughter Haydée, with whom Edmond forms a bond in the novel, and who ultimately falls in love with Edmond, is missing from this version. The movie met with modest box office success.
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Edmond Dantès (James Caviezel) and his friend, Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), officers of a French trading ship, head to Elba seeking medical attention for their captain. Dantès and Mondego are chased by English Dragoons who believe they are spies for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte (Alex Norton). The Emperor arrives and declares they are not his agents, and asks Dantès to give a letter to a friend in France. When the captain dies that night, they are sent on their way. At Marseilles, Dantès is reprimanded by the ship's first mate, Danglars (Albie Woodington) for disobeying orders. However, the shipping company's boss, Morrell (Patrick Godfrey), commends Dantès' bravery, promoting him over Danglars. Mondego intercepts Dantès' fiancée Mercédès (Dagmara Dominczyk) and unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. When he hears of Dantès' promotion, Mondego realizes that Dantès will be able to marry Mercédès sooner than expected.
Mondego gets drunk and tells Danglars about the letter Napoleon gave Dantès. Danglars has Dantès charged with treason and sent to magistrate J.F. Villefort (James Frain). Villefort is sure of Dantès' innocence, but discovers the addressee is Villefort's father, Clarion, a Bonapartist, whom he had denounced to secure a promotion. Villefort burns the letter and fools Dantès into submitting to arrest, then attempts to send him to an island prison, Château d'If. Dantès escapes and goes to Mondego for help, but Mondego turns on him and wounds him so he cannot escape; when Dantès asks him why he has betrayed their friendship, Mondego says that he is angry that he wants to be Dantès, despite his wealth and superior social position. Dantès is re-arrested and successfully imprisoned in the Château d'If. Meanwhile, news spreads that Napoleon has escaped from Elba. Mondego, Mercédès, Morrell, and Dantès' father go to Villefort to plead that Dantès is innocent, but Villefort rejects their efforts. Mercédès thanks Mondego for his support; but after she leaves Mondego and Villefort discuss their reasons for wrongfully imprisoning Dantès. Mercédès is later told that Dantès has been executed.
In prison, Dantès befriends Abbé Faria (Richard Harris), a priest and former soldier in Napoleon's army. Dantès learns Faria was imprisoned because he claimed not to know the location of the deceased Count Spada's fortune. Over the next fifteen years the priest educates the illiterate Dantes, teaching him about math, literature, philosophy, economics, and military strategy. He also helps Dantès discover why he himself was imprisoned. While escaping, their tunnel caves in, mortally wounding Faria. Before dying, Faria gives Dantès the location of Spada's treasure. The priest's death gives Dantès another opportunity to escape. When the guards put the priest into a body bag, Dantès removes the corpse, hides himself in the bag and is thrown into the sea.
Dantès washes onto a desert island, where he encounters Luigi Vampa (JB Blanc), a smuggler and thief. Vampa persuades Dantès to fight Jacopo (Luis Guzmán), a traitor who they intended to bury alive. Dantès defeats Jacopo but makes a deal with Vampa to let him live; Jacopo vows to serve Dantès for the rest of his life. Dantès joins the smugglers for three months, leaving when they arrive at Marseilles. Not recognizing him, Morrell tells Dantès that his father committed
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