Few famous novels have been filmed as often as Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo--and few versions are as enjoyable as this 1934 adaptation starring Robert Donat. Donat plays Edmond Dantes, wrongly accused of a plot against the post-Napoleonic French government. Condemned to a prison cell in the impenetrable Chateau D'If, Dantes vows vengeance against the four conspirators who framed him. He is particularly anxious to give his ex-friend Mondego (Sidney Blackmer) his comeuppance, since it was Mondego who married Dantes' fiancee Mercedes (Elissa Landi). Twelve years pass; with the help of ancient fellow prisoner Abbe Foria (O.P. Heggie), Dantes digs his way out of the Chateau D'If and escapes. He finds the treasure of Monte Cristo, which makes him the wealthiest man in the world. He uses his riches to put his plan of revenge into motion, methodically destroying every one of his enemies. Though he lives for vengeance, Dantes--alias the Count of Monte Cristo--has his humanity restored by the love of Mercede, who despite her marriage has always remained spiritually faithful to him. According to publicity, the 1955 TV series based on The Count of Monte Cristo was filmed on the standing sets from the 1934 film. This might well have been true, since both film and series were produced by Edward Small.
by Hal Erickson synopsis