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"Count of Monte Cristo"


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 07 2011 - 05:26 PM

I have been a big fan of the 2002 version of "Count of Monte Cristo".  The other day I happen to see the 1975 version with Richard Chamberlain.   After seeing it...I still much prefer the 2002 version.  I have not read the book.   So I have no idea which of the movies follows it closest.  But, even if the 1975 version is closer to the book.  I prefer the newer version.  Just curious what others think of the movies and the book. Some differences in the two movies... -2002 version Mondego is the main villain. -2002 version Mercedes only marries Mondego to cover up the fact she is pregnant with Edmonds child.  Which leads to a big change to the ending of both movies.  1975 version Albert is the son of Mondego and joins the army to escape the shame of his father.  Mercedes rebukes Edmond to join him in Africa.  In the 2002 version.  She still loves Edmond and at the end Edmond, Albert & Mondego learn that Albert is Edmonds son.  And they all live together as happy family at the end. -Danglers has a much bigger part in the 1975 version. -Their is a 4th antagonist (the thief on the ship) in the 1975 version. -I think the 2002 version handles the Chateau D'iff imprisonment with Abbe Farina way better.  Showing how Edmond goes from an uneducated young man...to a learned man who "becomes" the Count of Monte Cristo". On a side note.  I hear another movie is in the works.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Ben Osborne

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Posted January 10 2011 - 04:09 AM

I enjoy this movie, but I think it's confused about what it wants its audience to think about revenge.  When Dantes escapes from the Chateau D'iff, he purposefully drowns Dorleac, the prison warden, out of revenge.  It was an act of murder, and it's not even mentioned later in the movie.  The viewer really needs to ignore it or think that it was justified in order to continue to sympathize with Edmund.  I'm not sure if we can honestly view the killing as justified, since Dorleac is just trying to survive and is no threat to Edmund at that point.   At other points the movie suggests that revenge is unsatisfying and should not be pursued.  Obviously there's the words of the priest, but we also see Dantes turning Villefort and Danglars over to the authorities rather than killing them.  That is portrayed as noble and the superior choice.  But at the end of the movie, Dantes chooses to duel Mondego rather than letting him escape.  The movie sets up the choice of Dantes forsaking revenge and taking solace in his family, or risking his life for the sake of revenge in a unnecessary duel with Mondego.  But then the movie tries to have the best of everything by letting Dantes kill Mondego with no negative repercussions.  The filmmakers obviously wanted another sword fight.  And I liked the sword fight, but they should have made it something that Dantes had no choice in.   Instead, they have Dantes choose to kill Dantes out of revenge, and justify it with the lame one-liner, "I'm a count, not a saint."  That, of course, doesn't defend the immoral action, but simply confirms that the action being done is immoral.  If Dantes is okay with killing unnecessarily, and the filmmakers want the audience to be okay with it too, then he might as well have just killed Villefort and Danglars as well.   To sum things up, the movie leaves the impression that revenge is a satisfying, good thing.  But I don't think that's really the message that it wants to give.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 10 2011 - 04:26 AM

Ben,    You make some good points.  I think the death of Dorleac was justified.  The man was a sadist and even knew Dantes was innocent.  So his death to me was justified.    With regards to the death of Mondego.  Dantes wants to kill him...But, cannot. Then after his family arrives and Mondego draws the gun.  He lets him leave.  Even after he shoots Mercedes. It is only when Mondego rides back and declares that "He cannot live in a world where you(Dantes) has everything and I (Mondego) has nothing."  Dantes is forced into fighting him.  Even Jakobal says the priest would understand.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 10 2011 - 04:28 AM

You seem to have forgotten that Dante lets Mondego go. Mondego leaves but chooses to come back because he cannot live with the fact that he has been whipped by a commoner. Mondego forces the final duel so, to me, Dante at that point is fighting out of self defense, not revenge. As for killing Dorleac, I see that killing as being natural because Dante, at that point in the film, is operating purely from the need to get revenge on anybody who has wronged him.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Ben Osborne

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Posted January 11 2011 - 01:48 AM

Todd, I agree that Dorleac is a repulsive character, but when you say that Dantes should be able to unilaterally decide that he deserves to die and then execute him, that's getting into some pretty dark territory.   If the movie is taking that position on revenge, then Dantes could, by the same rationale, be justified in simply executing Villefort, Danglars, and Mondego.   I think you'd agree that that wouldn't go over well with audiences.  In an early cut of the movie shown to test audiences, the gun that Dantes gives Villefort is actually loaded, and Villefort does kill himself.  The filmmakers said that the test audience reacted negatively to that, so they changed it in the final cut.  I think that the test audience were on to something.   My question is, why didn't the test audience react negatively to the killing of Dorleac?  In the suicide of Villefort, Dantes simply aids Villefort.  With Dorleac, Dantes actively chases him down and ends his life.  I think that the filmmakers either didn't ask the test audience what they thought of that, or the audience didn't really grasp the gravity of Dantes' actions in that slaying.  It was dark, they were both in the water and kind of disoriented.  I think it took two or three viewings for that to sink in with me.  But when I watch it now, it really seems like cold-blooded murder.  I believe it would meet the legal definition of first degree murder in the US ("An intentional killing by means of poison, or by lying in wait, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated action"), but could be reduced to manslaughter due to mitigating circumstances.   As for the fight with Mondego, sure, Jacopo says that the priest would be okay with it, but I'm not so sure about that.  The priest wanted nothing to do with killing or revenge and encouraged Dantes to leave vengeance to God.  Mondego was instigating the fight, but Dantes could have just said, "No, get out of here, I'm going to to fight you."  If Mondego persisted at that point, he would have found himself fighting Dantes, Jacopo, and Albert.  And in that case, fighting/killing Mondego would have been justified self-defense.  As it is, it was not self-defense, and the the film even goes out of its way to tell the audience the killing wasn't morally justified with the "I'm a count, not a saint" line.   These problems I have with the film could have been avoided with some small changes to the script.  Why not have Dorleac try to kill Dantes when they were in the water, so that Dantes' killing of Dorleac would be self-defense?  Then you could have Dantes get a taste of revenge that he could struggle with his feelings about through the rest of the film.  And with the Mondego fight, they could have had Mondego hold Mercedes hostage and say, "If you don't fight me, I'm going to kill her, Dantes" or "If anyone tries to get medical help for Mercedes, I'm going to stop them, unless Dantes agrees to fight me."  For me, those changes would have made the film more coherent thematically.  As it is, I just find it confused about what it's trying to say.




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