1. THE IRON MASK (Allan Dwan; 1929) 3 1/2 stars

This late Doug Fairbanks silent, based on "The Man in the Iron Mask" (the third book in Dumas' "Three Musketeers" series), grandly retells the tale of intrigue swirling around twin brother French kings. It's a rowdy, flavorsome entertainment. With Marguerite De La Motte, Belle Bennett. (available on DVD/video)

2. THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (Rowland V. Lee; 1934) 3 1/2 stars

One of the best-loved of the Golden Age Hollywood Dumas movies, largely because of Robert Donat's sterling presence as that classic hero of revenge and turnabout, Edmond Dantes, a.k.a. The Count of Monte Cristo. With Elissa Landi, Louis Calhern, Sidney Blackmer, Raymond Walburn. (video)

3. THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Richard Lester; 1974), and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS (Lester; 1975) 4 stars

All the many versions of Dumas' 17th Century classic of "One for all, all for one!" camaraderie pale next to Lester's magnificently comic, ornate two-part adaptation, with Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, Richard Chamberlain. Few adventure movies have such a heightened atmosphere of beauty, excitement and fun. Also with Faye Dunaway, Charlton Heston, Raquel Welch. (DVD/video)

4. QUEEN MARGOT (Patrice Chereau; 1994) 3 1/2 stars

In this compelling, nerve-rending adaptation of Dumas' "La Reine Margot" (a historical novel set in the 1570s), blood drenches the streets and Paris is aboil with sex and slaughter. But the sets and cinematography are so cold, we might be looking at an X-rated salon painting, a massacre/orgy in the Louvre (where much of "Margot" is set). At the center is Isabelle Adjani, like some eerie blend of Garbo and Bardot. French, subtitled (DVD/video)

5. THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (Josee Dayan; 1998) 3 1/2 stars

By far the most faithful of the many versions of Dumas' classic of injustice and revenge, this lovingly crafted, near-seven-hour French TV miniseries has Gerard Depardieu as Dantes (and his son, Guillaume, as young Dantes), Ornella Muti as Mercedes Iguanada, Jean Rochefort as Mondego and Pierre Arditi as Villefort. French, subtitled (DVD/video)

Michael Wilmington is the Chicago Tribune movie critic.