Edmund Dantes (Jim Caviezel) is a lowly sailor with a beautiful fiancee and a recent promotion to Captain, who has unfairly brought on himself the jealousy of his friend, a nobleman's son, Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce). Framed for treason, he is sent to the Chateau D'If island prison without trial, where he is kept confined in a stone cell and tortured each year on the anniversary of his crime. However it is not until the day an old Priest (Richard Harris) breaks into his cell that he learns how to live again - and plan his revenge.
Our Rating: 10/10 - A true classic
Watchability: 9/10 - Everyone wants a friend like Jacapo!
Contributed By: Jordan Taylor
Tagline: Prepare for adventure. Count on revenge.
- Country: UK, USA, Ireland
- Language: English
- Runtime: 211
- Budget: $35,000,000
- Revenue: $54,234,062
- Production: Touchstone Pictures
Edmund escapes from the Chateau D'If inside the priest's fabric coffin, and just before he is thrown overboard he drags the prison official with him too - and then drowns the bad guy in the sea.
Washed up on shore next to some pirates, he must beat the thief Jacapo in a knife fight to the death to earn his place on the boat. Edmund wins - but saves Jacapo's life, who will be forever in his debt.
Three years later, Edmund can leave the pirate service and returns to Marseilles. He visits the old captain and learns what happened to his family - that his father committed suicide, and Mercedes married Mondego a month after he was incarcerated, and everyone moved to Paris.
Furious, Edmund follows the priest's map to the island of Monte Cristo and finds the sunken treasure with little Jacapo. Using the gold, he buys a mansion in Paris and transforms himself into the Count of Monte Cristo. He holds a lavish party where he meets Villefort again.
In time, the son of Mondego and Mercedes - Albert - travels to Rome to party with his friends. Edmund stages a kidnapping using his pirate friends, and 'saves' the life of the young boy who is now in his debt. Next day Jacapo mentions the gold, hoping the boy will tell his father.
Cristo puts the squeeze on Mondego's finances, turning his old allies and the banks against him.
At a party for Albert's birthday, Villefort meets with Mondego and they plan to steal the wealth from Monte Cristo. Mercedes meets Edmund for the first time, and recognises him. Edmund denies that he is the man she once loved - but later she realises when she sees him twist his hair after delivering a speech for Albert. She follows him into his carriage home, but Edmund turns her down.
Mondego uses the evil old sailor Danglars to steal Cristo's gold using the location from Villefort. The old sailor gives a few cases to those with him (the pirates again) but Edmund soon shows up with the Gendarmes. The old sailor won't go quietly, but Edmund wins the fight and the man is hanged (although cut down a little later).
Villefort is enjoying a sauna when Edmund shows up. He asks what happened to the case of Edmund Dantes many years earlier, and finds out that both bad men had a deal - to kill each other's father. On hearing the confession, the police are waiting patiently and Villefort is taken away in a prison cart. There is a gun waiting for him - he pulls the trigger, but it is empty. Dantes has not let him off that easily.
Mercedes meets with Edmund again to ask for answers. They end up in bed together when she says that she never stopped loving him.
Mondego is bankrupt and is about to flee the country. Mercedes returns to her old family home and tells Mondego that she is leaving him - and that Albert is the son of Edmund, which is why she married him so quickly.
Mondego travels to an abandoned building which held the treasure chests that were taken away before - but they are all empty. Edmund shows up and his secret is out. He's much better with the sword now - but Albert shows up to get in the way.
Mercedes follows, having read a note Albert left. She tells Albert that Edmund is his father. Mondego finds a gun and fires - Jacapo flings his knife at Mondego's hand, and the shot catches Mercedes in the shoulder.
Jacapo knows it will never end, so tells Edmund to chase after him. They duel, and Edmund wins.
Later, Edmund takes his family and Jacapo to the Chateau D'If, which he has bought, to get some closure.