THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
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NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by - wide eyed15 who says..."This is a very complex plot, and a little confusing, but, here it goes..."
Edmond Dantes has the perfect, humble but satisfactory life. A friendly, honest, and noble man, Dantes is the son of a clerk who hopes to become a captain of a ship in order to marry his fiancee, the sweet and beautiful Mercedes, who adores him as much as he adores her.
While on voyage, the captain comes down with brain fever, and Dantes disobeys orders in attempts to save his captain's life by landing on an island where the exiled Napolean lives. After some intial difficulties, Dantes and his faithful childhood friend, Fernand Mondego get their captain to see the doctor, although he later dies anyway.
Before they leave the island, Napolean seek out Dantes to speak with him privately. Sensing that Dantes is a man of his word, Napolean asks him to deliver a personal letter to a friend, Clarion and Dantes agree. Not being literate, Dantes has no idea what the letter says. Unbeknownst to Dantes, Mondego sees the exchange. Later that evening, they continue their tradition of giving the king chess piece (king of the moment) as Mondego gives Dantes the king for his sucess. This is important later in the film.
Upon their landing on home soil, Mercedes is spirited away by Mondego, who is also in love with her, while Dantes is interrogated for disobeying first mate's orders. It turns out the first mate is pretty selfish, and since Dantes did his best to save the captain he is promoted to be the new captain of the ship, which means he can now marry his love, Mercedes.
Dantes tells Mondego and Mercedes this, and although Mondego seems a little grouchy, Mercedes is ecstatic. She and Dantes have a little alone time, during which they make love and talk to each other about the future. She comments on the habit he has of tugging on his hair, and how it will make him grow bald, which comes into play later in the movie.
As it so happens, this piece of good luck is the final straw for Mondego, who has always been jealous of Dantes and the latter's happiness, even when they were children. Knowing that Napoleon, gave Dantes a letter, he goes and informs the authorities that Dantes is a traitor.
Dantes tells the man interrogating him, Villefort, that he knew nothing of the letter's contents and is entirely innocent. Villefort agrees and is about to send him on his way when he asks who the recipiant was supposed to be. Dantes informs him that it was a man named Clarion. When Villefort hears this, he burns the letter and sends an ignorant Dantes away to a dark and filthy prison on a lone island secluded from everywhere.
For years, Dantes is kept at the prison, his only contact the sadistic warden who whips him horribly on the anniversary of his coming to remind him of how time is passing. Dantes loses all hope, and obsesses about his revenge. Then, just when Dantes seems on the brink of insanity, a stranger tunnels his way into his cell.
The odd man is Abbe Faria, a learned scholar and former soldier in Napoleon's army, who was also unjustly imprisoned for not telling Napoleon the whereabouts of a hidden treasure. Faria agrees to teach Dantes everything he knows in exchange for help digging the tunnel, to which Dantes agrees.
Faria's cell is much different than Dantes'; it has an actual chair, and even some books. Faria teaches Dantes to read and write, math, economics, foreign languages, and even strips some pieces of wood from his door for make-shift swords to teach him fencing.
Dantes still doesn't understand why really was imprisoned when Villefort had said he could go. Faria really makes him think, and he realizes that Clarion must have been Villefort's father, and that he must have destroyed the evidence in his own ambitions, realizing his father was jeopordizing his position. Villefort then had to send the only other man who knew about Clarion: Dantes.
Unfortunately, while the both of them are tunneling, there is a cave in, and Faria dies. Before his death, though, he give Dantes a map to the treasure he kept a secret for all these years. Now Dantes must escape.
After the guards discover Faria dead, they bag the body and momentarily leave to get something. When they leave, Dantes comes out of hiding in the tunnel and puts Faria in his own cell and then he (Dantes) gets into the body bag, knowing the guards will have to take it out of the prison.
The guards prepare to throw him over the cliff into the water, as the warden stands near by to watch. Bad luck for Dantes, as his legs are chained together. So, as the guards swing him near the warden, he grabs the warden and pulls him down the cliff with him, taking his keys. While underwater, he unlocks himself then surfaces where he then kills the warden and swims to a near island.
Still rejoicing at his escape, Dantes is confronted by smugglers. Their leader says that if he can kill their best knife fighter, Jacopo, he will let him live and Jacopo will die instead. Dantes fights Jacopo, wins, but then uses his developed intelligence to make a bargain: that the both of them will live, since the men have had their excitement and the leader can afford to show a little mercy. It is agreed to, and Dantes becomes a smuggler with faithful Jacopo at his side.
Dantes then leaves the smuggling gang, with Jacopo tagging along.
Before Dantes really accomplishes any revenge, he wants to go check on his father. It turns out that his father hung himself after Dantes was taken away, and Mercedes married Mondego within a month of his leaving. Dantes is furious.
Dantes and Jacopo go and find the treasure Abbe Faria had spoken of and while he's at it, he reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. With Jacopo acting as his personal advisor of some sort, Dantes purchases a huge mansion, banks, and shipping companies with his new wealth. He spies on his old enemies most of all, especially Mercedes and Mondego, who, as it turns out, have a son.
Dantes rescues their son, Albert, from a mock kidnapping, to get closer to Mercedes and Mondego. Albert admires the count, (and they look suspiciously alike), and begs him to attend one of their parties.
During the party, Mercedes notices the count, and tells him he looks like someone she once knew--someone she once cared about very much. After he gives a toast, she notices him tugging on his hair, just like her Edmond once did, even though the Count of Monte Cristo denies knowing the existance of any Edmond Dantes.
Edmond starts taking his revenge. First on the former first mate who conspired with Mondego, and then Villefort by catching them in their own words and thus destroying everything they thought they had, just like they did to him.
He then sets the authorities onto Mondego for the murder of Clarion, who is set packing trying to escape. It is then that Mercedes scornfully tells her unfaithful husband that Albert is not his son, but is Edmond's son. Mondego storms out to go look for some of the Count's treasure he had supposedly stolen.
Unfortunately, the trunks Mondego thought were filled with money are actually filled with sand. In the final trunk he opens is the king chess piece from earlier in the film. While he is angrily discovering this, Edmond appears. Mondego finally recognizes him and they starting fighting. Albert appears on the scene and defends Mondego, not knowing that Mondego is not his father. Fortunately, Jacopo and Mercedes also come along and Mercedes explains to Albert and Edmond about the paternity issue, and that her pregnancy was why she rushed into marriage with Mondego.
During this sentimental interlude, Mondego attempts to shoot Edmond, but Jacopo throws a knife at him, causing him to hit Mercedes instead, but she will be alright.
Edmond and Mondego continue fighting in a field until Edmond finally runs Mondego through with his sword.
The end of the film shows Edmond, basically, saying that revenge really didn't seem to matter so much when he had the people he cared about.
It then shows Mercedes, Edmond and Albert together walking off.
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