Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (1955)
aka: The Count of Monte Cristo
A film directed by Robert Vernay

Genre: Adventure / Drama / Romance

Film Review

Le Comte de Monte-Cristo photo
Perhaps the most lavish screen adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' celebrated novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo is this three hour long epic directed by Robert Vernay and starring the iconic French screen actor Jean Marais. Vernay had already adapted Dumas' novel in 1943, with Pierre Richard-Willm (then a prominent star in French cinema) in the lead role. With its atmospheric lighting and more clearly delineated characters, the 1943 version is easily superior to its 1955 remake, although the latter clearly looks as if more money was spent on it.

Here Jean Marais heads a generally lacklustre cast and gives a lacklustre performance to match. Vernay's direction lacks the inspired touch that he showed on his previous Monte-Cristo and, in some places, appears downright complacent. This time round, Vernay and his screenwriters are more faithful to Dumas' novel, although their attempts to explore the central theme of the novel - the morality of delayed revenge - are only partially successful. The film's long run time makes it an ordeal to sit through, in spite of its slick production values and gripping storyline. Both of Vernay's adaptations of Dumas' novel are respectable pieces of cinema in their own right, but both pale into insignificance when compared with Henri Fescourt's stunning 1929 version.
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Film Credits

Directed by Robert Vernay
Starring: Jean Marais, Lia Amanda ), Daniel Ivernel ), Folco Lulli - ), Louis Seigner )
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