Do yourself a favor and read the book.... the whole book
The count of monte cristo stirs the passions of everyone who reads it - so much so that it has been made and remade a half-dozen times in english, a fairly astonishing fact since the dumas classic is originally en francais. it is one of the most popular and best-selling novels of history and it is difficult to say whether this book or "the three musketeers" is the most popular novel by alexandre dumas, père. the story is set up perfectly by dumas: merchant ship "phaeron" pulls into marseilles in 1815. first mate edmond dantès leaps onto the pier to report to owner monsieur morrel that although the ship has returned as planned with goods, captain leclère passed away on the journey, leaving edmund as acting captain. morrel immediately promotes dantès to phaeron's captain, just before edmund runs to reunite with his beautiful fiancée mercédès. dantès, the hard-working son of a commoner, can hardly believe his fortune. he has been promoted to ship's captain at a young age and is about to marry the most beautiful young lady in town. but something is rotten in marseilles... jealousy prompts rivals danglars (the phaeron's purser) and lieutenant fernand mondego (also desiring mercédès) to conspire to write a secret note to the authorities accusing edmund of being a bonapartist traitor. soldiers come to arrest edmund at his engagement party. he is hauled before villefort, an apparently sympathetic prosecutor. villefort seems kindly until he realizes there actually is a bonapartist traitor around... the prosecutor's father. to protect the family name (and his career ambitions), villefort has our hero put away. edmond dantès goes from the heights of happiness to the depths of despair - without explanation he is thrown into the darkest, dampest dungeon of france's alcatraz - the chateau d'if. for those unfamiliar with the story, it may appear that i have given it all away, but you will find that this is only the setup for the most thrilling tale of hope and despair, vengeance and mercy, nobility and justice and revenge. the story comes complete with exciting sword fights, poisonings, secrets identities, kidnappings, last-second escapes, underground catacombs and formal balls. especially for a character of two hundred years ago, dantès makes james bond seem a dullard by comparison. if you have only seen "the movie" you have not at all had the pleasure of the layers and textures of this sublime story. the 1975 richard chamberlain is okay, if truncated, but the 2002 version with james caviezel is practically an abomination. are you a "book person"? do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this treasure, and perhaps no other book more deserves a reading of the unabridged version.