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Author Topic: The Count of Monte Cristo  (Read 643 times)  

Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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The Count of Monte Cristo
« on: November 11, 2017, 08:10:52 PM »
I just finished watching the 2002 movie version of "The Count of Monte Cristo", which starred Jim Caviezel (Person of Interest). I've seen this version before, but had forgotten what a train wreck it is insofar as the plot lines of the book are concerned. It's a handsomely-mounted production, but a 130-minute movie can't do justice to the novel, which ran to 1300+ pages. Caviezel isn't an actor with much animation, but he was OK in the role. The unlikely casting of Gerard Depardieu in a French TV version that ran 6+ hours or so was more successful at presenting the actual story, I thought.

Now, onto the book topic: I thought I knew the story until I stumbled across an article concerning a new translation of the work. It alleged (IIRC) that all the current English translations were based on a highly-abridged translation done in the 1800s by someone who didn't really speak French all that well. He chopped out almost two-thirds of the novel, and censored some parts of it (that got your attention, didn't it?). The new translation also somewhat modernizes the language instead of the instead of shoehorning the English words into what someone thought was period-French language usage.

All in all, it's a very entertaining work (albeit long), but I can say that if you have only read earlier translations, then you don't really know the story. Certainly the movies won't give you most of the story. And I think all the movies have changed the ending, missing the point of the work.

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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 06:32:58 AM »
I doubt if I'll have time to reread it, but it would be nice if you'd either link to the translation or give us the name of the translator. Maybe some day.


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Offline LauraB

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 07:37:42 AM »
Is the link you provided the translation you are recommending?
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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 07:39:34 AM »
Sorry. I'm so used to see author's links in their signature, I didn't realize that cover was the actual link. My bad.


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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 08:27:13 AM »
Yes, that's the Penguin version translated by Robin Buss, published in 1996.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 08:30:58 AM by Mike D. aka jmiked »
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Offline Lee

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 09:38:19 AM »
That's the translation I read, I liked it a lot.

Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 08:41:56 PM »
I'm thinking it might be close to time for a re-read. It's been almost 8 years since the last time.

I've ordered a DVD set of a British mini-series of the book made in 1964. I've read some good recommendations of it.
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Offline NogDog

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 09:28:51 AM »
And here I thought Infinite Jest was long.  :o

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Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 08:16:11 PM »
See my byline.   ;)

In all seriousness, though, I actually prefer the Caviezel movie to the book.  It leaves out a lot, and it changes some plot points, but I think it's a tighter story.  More satisfying ending, too.  *shrug*
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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 07:20:26 AM »
I just started reading this one.



Unabridged, 57c, and so far so good.


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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 07:12:01 PM »
Yesterday I finished watching the 12 25-minute episodes of the 1964 BBC production of The Count of Monte Cristo. It was really entertaining. It followed all the plot points of the book (although some were abbreviated or happened off-camera but were talked about). It even showed the ending from the book, which no movie or TV series has ever done before. Of course it was B&W, SD, and letterboxed, but that's OK. It's even Closed Captioned.

It's nice to see the story done right for a change. Even if the acting is a bit low key in parts.

BTW, it always amazes me how nobody ever recognizes Dantes. Most of the films have him wearing a Van Dyke beard in his Monte Cristo persona, but not here. Artistic license, I guess.
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Offline LauraB

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 09:20:11 AM »
Yesterday I finished watching the 12 25-minute episodes of the 1964 BBC production of The Count of Monte Cristo. It was really entertaining. It followed all the plot points of the book (although some were abbreviated or happened off-camera but were talked about). It even showed the ending from the book, which no movie or TV series has ever done before. Of course it was B&W, SD, and letterboxed, but that's OK. It's even Closed Captioned.

It's nice to see the story done right for a change. Even if the acting is a bit low key in parts.

BTW, it always amazes me how nobody ever recognizes Dantes. Most of the films have him wearing a Van Dyke beard in his Monte Cristo persona, but not here. Artistic license, I guess.

Did they use the version of the book that censored out the lesbian relationship?
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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 10:20:09 AM »
Did they use the version of the book that censored out the lesbian relationship?

Yes. As far as I know that aspect of Eugnie was left out of the translations until the 1996 version by Buss (although I couldn't swear to it, as I have not read all the various editions). The mini-series was made in 1965, so there were some things from the novel that would not be included. It did appear to be made from one of the longer versions of the book, though.

Although there were two of the daughters of various characters that ran away to Italy together towards the end of the story. I don't recall if one of them was Eugnie.
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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 10:53:26 PM »
I loved that book! I assume I read the right one, because it was certainly +1000 pages and had the same cover.

I haven't seen the 2002 film (why bother?), but I do remember thinking it would make a great mini series, similar to the BBC's recent production of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 01:17:47 PM »
The new translation is a huge improvement over the 19th century one which did indeed impose a lot of Victorian censorship. I would have judged the old translation as so-so otherwise.

As for the abomination that the 2002 movie is, it didn't tighten the story. It chopped it to pieces even leaving out major characters and plot lines that were essential to have any clue what was going on. Of course someone who doesn't like the novel might not mind that, which is fair enough.

It is time for a re-read for me too. It has been one of my favorite novels since my teens and certainly influenced my decision to write historical novels.

ETA: And now I have it on Kindle. Yay!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 01:20:14 PM by JRTomlin »

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