The Wife of Monte Cristo (1946) starring John Loder, Lenore Aubert, Charles Dingle, Fritz Kortner, Eduardo Ciannelli, Martin Kosleck, Eva Gabor directed by Edgar G. Ulmer Movie Review

The Wife of Monte Cristo (1946)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Lenore Aubert as Countess of Monte Cristo Hayde in The Wife of Monte Cristo (1946)

The Countess of Monte Cristo

Remembering that "The Wife of Monte Cristo" was produced by PRC part of Poverty Row it is best to look at it as a cheaply made b-movie which was made to capitalize on the popularity of swashbucklers rather than as an actual sequel. And once you accept that this is not a movie made to challenge bigger Hollywood movies rather than make some money off of them it is not half bad. Yes the picture quality it self is less than impressive and the action whilst featuring sword fights is quite routine but the story plays out quite nicely.

After The Count of Monte Cristo (Martin Kosleck) suffers a visible hand injury as he plagues the rich masquerading as The Avenger he is forced to go away till his injury heals as it would blow his cover. His wife Haydée, the Countess of Monte Cristo (Lenore Aubert) remains to keep up the public appearance, attending socials with those who are desperate to find The Avenger. But with matters becoming urgent when one of the Count's loyal men is arrested the countess decides to don the mask and cape to rescue him. All is going well till De Villefort (John Loder), Prefect of Police, cottons on to the fact that the Countess has been masquerading as The Avenger and arrests her forcing the Count to return to try and rescue her.

John Loder as De Villefort, Prefect of Police in The Wife of Monte Cristo (1946)

Whilst at about a third of the way in to "The Wife of Monte Cristo" we get a history lesson which establishes Edmund Dante's back story as The Count of Monte Cristo and the enemies he wishes to avenge for the most "The Wife of Monte Cristo" makes its own story. And in fairness it's not bad, okay it is less than subtle with a poorly written script but the basic idea of the Countess standing in as The Avenger is a nice idea especially as early on it establishes her as a woman with mean sword skills. Although in fairness her battles are more of the brain as she toys with the De Villefort and those who they despise as she leads them on a merry dance.

But to put it bluntly "The Wife of Monte Cristo" is purely a cheaply made b-movie made to turn a quick profit from the popularity of bigger budget swashbucklers. And by all accounts it was a success for PRC with reports of it being the most profitable movie they ever made. But whilst made to capitalize on the popularity of swashbucklers it is as you would expect rather ordinary with little action which even taking in its age isn't that exciting. In fact the most exciting it gets is the final sword fight which whilst short is energetic.

As for the acting for the most it is completely forgettable with Martin Kosleck doing little to be memorable as Edmund Danes and neither does John Loder as De Villefort. In the end the most memorable aspect is that the various women stars which include Lenore Aubert and Eva Gabor are attractive and sexy.

What this all boils down to is that "The Wife of Monte Cristo" is the simple movie you expect from PRC and is every ounce a b-movie made to capitalize on the popularity of bigger movies. But whilst it's forgettable it isn't terrible and an okay watch for fans of old swashbucklers.