Impoverished Dantes and his wealthy friend Mondego are ship officers who stop at the island of Elba seeking help for their ship's ill captain. Here they meet the exiled Napoleon who gives Dantes a letter to deliver for him. Dantes is promoted and, because of this, will be able to marry his beloved Mercedes who Mondego is also interested in. During a night of drinking Mondego tells an enemy of Dantes about the letter for Napoleon which sets off an elaborate conspiracy and gets Dantes arrested for treason and put in an island prison. He vows to escape and seek revenge on Mondego, who admitted he was in on a plot to frame Dantes.
With the help of a fellow prisoner Dantes escapes and goes to find a treasure the prisoner told him about. This wealth allows Dantes reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. He learns that Mercedes has married the backstabbing Mondego and that they have a son. He decides that he will use the son the get to the father and befriends young Albert, earning him an introduction to his parents. Mondego does not recognize him but Mercedes does and when she tries to confront him Dantes pretends that he doesn't know what she's talking about.
Meanwhile Mondego and his cohorts conspire to steal the Count of Monte Cristo's gold. One by one Dantes gets the others arrested and learns in the process that Mercedes was also fooled by Mondego, who lied and told her that her fiancee was dead rather than imprisoned. Mercedes convinces him to run away with her and her son. On the verge of ruination, Mondego goes to a remote manor to find the gold only to find Dantes awaiting him. They battle and, in the middle of it, Mercedes tells them that her son actually belongs to Dantes. Dantes kills Mondego and finally has his revenge.