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The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

A Feature film by Claude Autant-Lara

Release in France : 06/12/1961


    Edmond Dantes is falsely accused by those jealous of his good fortune, and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the notorious island prison, Chateau d'If. While imprisoned, he meets the Abbe Faria, a fellow prisoner whom everyone believes to be mad. The Abbe tells Edmond of a fantastic treasure hidden away on a tiny island, that only he knows the location of. After many years in prison, the old Abbe dies, and Edmond escapes disguised as the dead body. Now free, Edmund must find the treasure the Abbe told him of, so he can use the new-found wealth to exact revenge on those who have wronged him.

    Source : IMDb

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    Actors (22)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Co-production :


    Film exports/foreign sales :


    Foreign production companies :

    Cineriz, Royal film

    French distribution :


    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country


    Point of view

    The first film of this story, that I came to know, was the 1975 version with Richard Chamberlain as ruthless avenger and I must say, this older film (1961) with Louis Jourdan as Edmond cannot compare with it.

    Sure, the filmmakers made all efforts, if you look at the settings, equipment and clothes. But to my taste the film lacks suspense. The story unfolds nice and neat but without any climax. All dramatic moments are predictable. Also in contrast to the 1975 TV version here the music is no more than pleasant background noise without any dramatic effect.

    The scene with the Abbe Faria in the dungeon is but a small intermezzo - nothing shows the development from the naive, unsophisticated Edmond into the clever coldblooded count of Monte Christo by learning from the Abbe. Even this version is much longer than the 1975 film, it has less story in it. Here the count is still too much Edmond, showing more feeling as would fit for an avenger. Like an ordinary man, he rummages in the treasure, whereas Richard Chamberlain keeps this short and considers the treasure just a tool for his revenge.

    The 1961 count of Monte Christo is still in love with Mercedes and tries to get her back and she also yearns for him. Maybe so much romance was wanted by the 1960s audience. So the ending - even similar with the 1975 version is not really credible here. Whereas in the latter it fits with the depicted characters, here it only seems to be a tribute to the original book. Considering the story unfolding in this older film, a happy-end would be the logical consequence.

    Richard Chamberlain, on the other hand, is exclusively a count with barely any rest of Edmond left in him, whereas Louis Jourdan is as the count still too much Edmond and no sinister look can hide that. Jourdan is a brilliant actor and makes the best of it, however, he cannot save the film. It should be noted, that this very Louis Jourdan plays the State Attorney Villefort in the 1975 version - and plays it wonderful.

    Source : IMDb

    Full credits (21)

    Assistant directors :

    Ghislaine Autant-Lara, Michel Pezin

    Producers :

    René Modiano, Jean-Jacques Vital, Alain Poiré

    Screenwriter :

    Jean Halain

    Directors of Photography :

    Jacques Natteau, Jean Isnard

    Assistant Operator :

    Max Lechevallier

    Production managers :

    Georges Charlot, Paul Laffargue

    Assistant editors :

    Inès Collignon, Catherine Vitsoris

    Production Designer :

    Max Douy

    Stunt performer :

    Claude Carliez

    Sound Mixer :

    Jean Nény

    Location Manager :

    Jacques Serres

    Author of original work :

    Alexandre Dumas

    Sound Recordist :

    René-Christian Forget

    Voice :

    Roger Rudel

    Sound Assistant :

    Yvon Dacquay

    Camera Operator :

    Gilbert Chain

    Editor :

    Madeleine Gug

    Continuity supervisor :

    Madeleine Billeaud

    Music Composer :

    René Cloerec

    Costume designer :

    Rosine Delamare

    Still Photographer :

    Yves Mirkine

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :

    Adventure, Literary adaptation

    Production language :


    Coproducer countries :

    Italy, France

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Majority French (Italy, France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    3 h

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Aspect ratio :


    Audio format :


    Rating restrictions :


    Posters (2)