Scene Spotlight: ‘The Grand Entrance’ – The Count of Monte Cristo

Hello, welcome to the first edition of Scene Spotlight. I was looking at this old post I did back when this blog first started, where I list 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again, and I thought why not make it a regular post? I’m thinking a couple of times a month.

To start things off, I just picked a random movie that somehow had three actors I love who are grossly underused in Hollywood: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pierce and a very young Henry Cavill (who already looks poised to be Superman one day). Interesting that Caviezel was once considered for the Superman role in Superman Returns before Brandon Routh was cast.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a remake of the Alexander Dumas’ tale by the same name. Edmond Dantes (Caviezel), a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), who wants Dantes’ girlfriend Mercedes for himself. Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d’If for 13 years, where he plots revenge against those who betrayed him. With the help of another prisoner, a priest (Richard Harris), he escapes the island and proceeds to transform himself into the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo as part of his plan to exact revenge.

One of my favorite scene is Dantes’ dramatic entrance as the new ‘Count’ flying down from a hot air balloon amidst a spectacular fireworks display on his estate. The tall, dark and handsome Caviezel looks striking and regal in his opulent robe as he strides down the path to greet his guest. It’s kind of sentimental, even corny, but it just works! I couldn’t find the exact scene on youtube, but it starts at around 06:55 on the clip below. 

Caviezel_CountMonteCristoThe grossly-underrated Caviezel makes for a convincing and sympathetic flawed hero, whilst Pierce plays the devious villain with aplomb. Their relationship from friend to foe is fascinating to watch. At times Pierce is a bit over the top but still fun to watch. It’s also got a great supporting cast: Richard Harris as the priest who lets Dantes in on the treasure, and Luis Guzmán as the count’s right hand man provides comic relief.

I wonder if Mel Gibson saw this movie before he cast Caviezel as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. In the beginning of the clip above, he definitely has the right look to play the Savior! Though Cristo isn’t a “Christian” movie, yet it has the underlying theme is that ‘vengeance is Lord’s’: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely a poignant and entertaining period swashbuckling flick that warrant repeated viewings!


What do you think of this movie and/or this particular scene?