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Directed by Rowland V. Lee


Alexandre Dumas's 1845 novel about the betrayal, imprisonment, and eventual triumph of Edmond Dantes is one of world literature's most famous stories of dogged revenge. There have been many productions over the years, in the U.S. and other countries, but most critics cite the 1934 version of The Count of Monte Cristo as the best. It was also the only film the distinguished British actor Robert Donat ever shot in Hollywood.

Donat's early stage work brought him to the attention of British film mogul Alexander Korda, who signed him for a three-year contract leading to a notable role in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1934). Hollywood quickly came calling, and Donat went stateside for The Count of Monte Cristo. The picture was a critical and commercial success, named one of the Ten Best of the year, and big offers quickly came to the 29-year-old actor. Yet Donat's distaste for the Hollywood scene and the debilitating asthma that plagued him all his life led him to turn down the highly touted lead in the seafaring adventure story Captain Blood (1935) - a lucky break for minor Warner Brothers contract player Errol Flynn, who became a star in that role. Donat returned to England immediately after The Count of Monte Cristo to work with Alfred Hitchcock in The 39 Steps (1935).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Theatrical Release: August 3rd, 1934

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DVD Review: Henstooth Video - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Henstooth Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:52:52 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Henstooth Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (2:10) 

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2012

Keep Case
Chapters: 11



Once again, I *think* there have been some other DVD editions of this title, but I don't own one to compare. I understand they are quite poor. This single-layered transfer is acceptable but has a fair amount of noise in the darker section and there are two places were the damage was more than nominal. The image is vertically stretched a shade - for those who may be sensitive. It has decent, if not stellar, contrast and produces a consistent presentation. Along with the unremarkable, but even, audio - it gave me an 'okay' viewing. 

There are no extras, aside from a trailer but the region 1, NTSC, DVD has optional English subtitles. This is a boyhood favorite film - Dumas at his best. For those keen on these vintage classics - the Henstooth edition supplies a worthwhile viewing, if expectations are kept minimal. In essence, while not perfect, is better than I was expecting. I was very happy to finally see the film after all these years. 

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Henstooth Video - Region 1 - NTSC

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