Cast & Crew
In Paris, in 1868, twenty years after the death of his granduncle Edmond Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristo, the younger Edmond Dantes is told that he is the heir to the count's fortunes and title. Edmond learns of this from Professor François Duval, a trusted friend of the late count, who takes Edmond to Marseilles to attend the probate hearing that is sure to make Edmond one of the richest men in the world. En route, Edmond meets a lovely young woman, Angele Picard, who, unknowingly, is also traveling to Marseilles to claim the count's fortunes. Angele is unaware that she is being used by her foster father, banker Emil Blanchard, Judge Jean Lafitte and the soon-to-be Minister of Police Henri de la Roche, who are conspiring to collect the count's fortune for themselves by presenting Angele as the count's rightful heir. When the crooked judge declares Edmond's will to be a forgery, he and Duval are imprisoned, and Duval is later killed by de la Roche's men. Meanwhile, de la Roche has Edmond's identity papers doctored so that he will be mistaken for Louis Bresseau, a recently escaped prisoner from Devil's Island. Identified as the escapee, Edmond is sent to the island prison, where he befriends the famous actor Bombelles. Bombelles helps Edmond escape and takes him back to France, where they go into hiding in a theater. There, Edmond creates some elaborate disguises so that they can visit the three schemers undetected and expose them. After exacting a full confession from the judge, Edmond takes his revenge on Blanchard, who has been embezzling money from Monte Cristo's account, by causing a run on his bank. The resulting choas forces Blanchard to hand over documents proving his guilt, at which point he is killed by a crowd of angry bank customers. Meanwhile, de la Roche learns that Edmond has escaped Devil's Island with Bombelles and orders Bombelles' arrest and torture, hoping that Bombelles will divulge the location of Edmond's hiding place. Bombelles is soon captured but he manages to fool de la Roche into falling into Edmond's trap at the Odeon Theater. When de la Roche arrives at the theater, he finds Edmond waiting for him on the darkened stage. De la Roche draws his gun and tells Edmond that he is seeking revenge for the deaths of his ancestors who died because of his great uncle's deeds. As de la Roche is about to pull the trigger, Bombelles and Edmond overpower him, and Edmond orders the theater lights to be turned on. The lighted theater now reveals that an audience has witnessed, in silence, de la Roche's confession. Edmond hands over de la Roche to the audience members, who carry him through the streets and denounce him as Duval's murderer. With the legacy of the Monte Cristo family upheld, Edmond looks forward to sharing his riches with his new bride, Angele.
Jean Del Val
Phil Van Zandt
Charles Lawton Jr.
Although this film contains a written prologue, purported to be in the words of Alexandre Dumas, in which it is suggested that the film is based on a literary work by Dumas, such a work does not exist. The character of "Edmund Dantes," "The Count of Monte Cristo" originally appeared in the 1944-45 French novel Le Comte de Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and Charles Fechter. This was producer Edward Small's third film based or inspired by Alexandre Dumas' novel, the first of which was the 1934 film The Count of Monte Cristo (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0824). In 1941, Small produced a sequel to The Count of Monte Cristo entitled The Son of Monte Cristo (see below). Many films based on Dumas' character have been filmed, including the 1913 Famous Players film entitled The Count of Monte Cristo, directed by Edwin Porter and starring James O'Neill (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0810) and a 1922 Fox film called Monte Cristo, directed by Emmett J. Flynn and starring John Gilbert (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3687). In 1954, Robert Vernay directed Jean Marais and Lia Amanda in a French-Italian version of the Dumas novel. Another French-Italian version was made in 1961, directed by Claude Autant-Lara and starring Louis Jordan. In 1956, a syndicated television series starring George Dolenz as the count was first broadcast. In January 1975, NBC broadcast a "made-for-television" adaptation of the novel, directed by David Greene and starring Richard Chamberlain, Tony Curtis and Trevor Howard.
The film marked the American screen debut of British actor Richard Richonne. Some location filming took place in Pasadena and at the Columbia Ranch in Burbank, CA and Baldwin Lake, CA.