Thursday, May 30, 2013

Movie Review: The Son of Monte Cristo

Enter one of my favorite old movies, The Son of Monte Cristo


From Wikipedia:
    "In 1865, the proletarian General Gurko Lanen becomes the behind the scenes dictator of the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg located in the Balkans. Gurko suppresses the clergy and the free press and imprisons the Prime Minister Baron Von Neuhoff. The rightful ruler of the Grand Duchy the Grand Duchess Zona, hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France and makes her escape pursued by a troop of Hussars loyal to Gurko. She is rescued by the visiting Count of Monte Cristo in the area on a hunting trip. The Count escorts her to a neutral country, but Gurko's Hussars violate international neutrality to return the Grand Duchess and her lady-in-waiting back to Lichtenburg.
The count has become romantically enamoured of Zona and undertakes to help her, visiting the Grand Duchy where he falls in with the underground resistance movement of Lichtenburg. He befriends the loyal Lt. Dorner of the palace guard who knows a variety of secret passages leading from the Grand Ducal Palace to the literal underground catacombs of the Grand Duchy. Discovering that Baron Von Neuhoff is to be executed, the Count gains entry to the palace through his previously being asked for a large loan of French Francs by Gurko and plays the role of a cowardly fop international banker. There he overhears Gurko meeting with the French Ambassador who raises the issue of human rights in the Grand Duchy. Gurko counters him by saying he is signing a non aggression pact with Russia protecting Lichtenburg from any French threats. Gurko schemes to gain the nation's loyalty by marrying the Grand Duchess and keeping the Russian pact a secret.
The count becomes a masked freedom fighter named "The Torch" after the underground newspaper in order to save the Grand Duchy. The rest is rapid-fire intrigue and derring-do."

I thought Wikipedia worded the plot rather well, so I won't expound. I will say this - this movie is full of adventure, honor, manly men, gallant soldiers, and the honest hearts of simple men and women who valued freedom, liberty, and morality more than anything else!

The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes

Gallant, chivalrous, and honorable, Edmond is simply fantastic! His double-life (acting as a know-nothing fop to the royal court/being "The Torch" for the underground) is very amusing and adventurous. Personally, I love his chivalrous remarks - they are always very humorous!

The Grand Duchess, Zona of Lichtenburg


Beautiful and charming, she makes a lovely and spirited Grand Duchess. Her desire to protect her people and their liberties is admirable. Personally, while I admire her character, I found her slightly passive. She could have been a far stronger queen and handled Gurko in a much better fashion. (Every time I watch the movie, I'm begging her to just take him out! So simple.) But, then, if she had executed him, the story would have been over. :)

Gurko Lanen


This evil dictator, who forces Zona into a arranged engagement, is pitiless to the core. Ruthless, daring, and merciless, his plots to enslave the people of Lichtenburg are entirely self-centered. He's smart though - smart and cagey. 

Other characters include dashing soldiers (the most gallant of which is none other than the Lone Ranger!) humble, true-hearted servants, and evil spies. What's not to like?!

I love this scene!


Pros: 
Too many to name! Honorable characters, moral excellence, and excitement would be at the top of the list!

Cons: 
There are two kissing scenes. One is extremely brief, the other is at a wedding. Neither are long or overly-gushy, as I would say!

Also, the underground literally meets underground. They travel through some catacombs, so there are some scenes with skeletons that may alarm small children. 

Over all, this is a family-friendly, character inspiring movie! Check it out!
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