Monte Cristo (1929 film)

Monte Cristo (1929) is a French silent film directed by Henri Fescourt, and is a film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père.[1]

Monte Cristo
Directed byHenri Fescourt
Produced byLouis Nalpas
Written byAlexandre Dumas, père (novel)
Henri Fescourt (screenplay)
StarringJean Angelo, Lil Dagover, Gaston Modot, Jean Toulout, Henri Debain, Pierre Batcheff, Robert Mérin, Bernhard Goetzke
Music byMarc-Olivier Dupin
(2006 Arte TV restoration)
Films Louis Nalpas
Distributed byTerra - United Artists
Release date
25 October 1929 (Part 1)
1 November 1929 (Part 2)
Running time
218 minutes
(French intertitles)

Long forgotten, the film underwent a restoration effort from 1999 to 2006 under the direction of Lenny Borger, with funding by the Arte channel.[2] A nearly complete reconstruction was assembled from four prints in Eastern European archives. The restored film received its North American premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 3, 2015.[3][4]

Fescourt used four cameramen to best capture movement, and often filmed in real locations mentioned in the novel, including the prison of Chateau d'If.[5] The film has been critically praised as "an epic triumph of the silent cinema at its height," distinguished by its combination of commercial cinema dramatics and techniques used by French impressionist filmmakers (including micro-flashbacks, extreme close-ups, zip-pans, energetic moving camera, and extreme shifts in focus).[6] The BFI's Silent Film Guide writes that "the elegance and orchestration of the film-making is extraordinary" and praises the lavish scenes at the Paris Opera and Monte Cristo's mansion as "staggeringly opulent."[5]

See also


  1. SilentEra entry
  2. Grady, Pam. "Lenny Borger, savior of the silent 'Monte-Cristo'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  3. McNary, Dave. "San Francisco Film Festival to Host 12 Premieres". Variety. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  4. "Mel Novikoff Award: Lenny Borger: Monte-Cristo". San Francisco Film Society. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  5. Dixon, Bryony (2011). 100 Silent Films (BFI Screen Guides). London: British Film Institute. p. 141. ISBN 1844573087.
  6. Cairns, David. "The Forgotten: "Monte Cristo" (1929)". Mubi Notebook. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
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