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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Sword > Literature > British TV > The Count Of Monte Cristo (1956/Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Import)

The Count Of Monte Cristo (1956/Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Import)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Two/2 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Network U.K. at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Is Alexandre Dumas’ The Count Of Monte Cristo a Superhero?  An Adventurer?  He has a secret identity in the auspices of Edmond Dantes and does fight evil and helps out women in distress and worse.  With that, he is less known these days than The Three Musketeers, the property has been the subject of silent films, old movie serials, radio dramas, TV mini-series and even a hit Anime show.  It has also been made into several TV series worldwide, but the lone English-language production remains a 1956 British TV series with George Dolenz.


Yes, that is Micky Dolenz’s father, best known as the co-star on the even bigger hit TV series The Monkees ten years later.  Tough it only lasted one season and 39 half-hour episodes, this version was made by ATV/ITC, the production powerhouse lead by the late Lord Lew Grade.  As a result, you get smart, tight teleplays in what is one of the best uses of the characters I have seen to date, taking place after the book and assuming you have read it or know the story.  Sure, they take some liberties, but this holds up really well for being almost 55 years old.


George Dolenz definitely could handle the lead and fine supporting actors like Patrick Troughton (an original Doctor Who), Robert Brown, Walter Gotell, Adrienne Corri, Ian Wolfe and Faith Domergue are among the more familiar faces, but everyone seems to be having a good time and the show is aimed at younger males, yet offers more.  The show is still fun all these years later.



The 1.33 X 1 black and white image was shot in 35mm film and you can see that this is a better-looking show than anyone seeing it at the time would have imagined.  However, we get more softness and strained-looking detail more often than I would have liked, though the prints seem brand new.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age with flaws and distortion you would expect for its age, though it is better at times than other shows from the era.  Just not enough.  There are no extras, unfortunately, though interviews and a commentary would have been nice.  Maybe for the Blu-ray…



As noted above, you can order this DVD import set exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


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