Count of Monte Cristo
Origin: USA, 1913
Director: Golden/Porter
Source: Grapevine Video DVD

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo is a long and complicated novel, one of our greatest revenge fantasies, and even if you were adapting it from a truncated theatrical play version (as this was), trying to tell its story in just over an hour necessitates stripping it down to its barest skeleton. James O’Neill, who plays Edmond Dantes/Monte Cristo, had been famous for his stage production of the novel, and this is what he brought to the screen. The story moves right along (it has to), they moved a lot of the scenes to appropriate external locations, and it ends with some brief but satisfying swordplay. Still, as Monte Cristo adaptations go, this one’s pretty perfunctory.