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Les misérables (1934)

The lives of numerous people over the course of 20 years in 19th century France, weaved together by the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean on the run from an obsessive police inspector, who pursues him for only a minor offense.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Paul Azaïs ...
Max Dearly ...
Charles Dullin ...
Émile Genevois ...
...
Georges Mauloy ...
Lucien Nat ...
...
Robert Vidalin ...
Orane Demazis ...
Eponine
...
Josseline Gaël ...
Marguerite Moreno ...
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Storyline

The lives of numerous people over the course of 20 years in 19th century France, weaved together by the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean on the run from an obsessive police inspector, who pursues him for only a minor offense. Written by bdsproductions

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27 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jadnici  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Re-released in France in 1951. See more »

Goofs

In the second part, Les Thenardier, when Jean Servais overhears the pair plotting to rob Valjean, Raymond Bernard can be heard softly directing him to leave the room ("Vite!"). See more »

Quotes

Enjolras: [referring to Pop Mabeuf, who has just been shot down] Now, citizens, may each of you fight for this dead old man as he would for his own living father.
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Connections

Version of Les misérables (1925) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The version that comes closest to capturing the spirit of the original
15 October 2000 | by (Tain, Scotland) – See all my reviews

I got my first glimpse of the 1934 version while watching the 1995 adaptation with Jean-Paul Belmondo. The clips to which we are treated there intrigued me and after considerable rooting around the internet I managed to obtain a copy on video (to the best of my knowledge it has never been released in Britain). I was not disappointed. This is quite the fullest and most satisfying cinematic version of Hugo's extraordinary tale yet produced. Some may find the running time of around four and a half hours quite daunting, but I found that I hardly noticed the time pass. The reasons for its success are manifold. Firstly the detail and therefore the strength of the original are largely retained. Characters are properly fleshed out, and just as in the original we feel we share the characters' lives and get to know and care about them. The depth and number of characters are not sacrificed to considerations of time and commerce. Although some of the photography appears dated by modern standards, Raymond Bernard's literate script and direction are stimulating and advance the narrative at a steady pace (despite the impression created by the running time). He is masterful in the creation of atmosphere in both intimate and crowd scenes. For example the film is quite spectacular in its depiction of the 1832 uprising, yet it is deeply moving in the scenes involving Valjean and the Bishop. The music (by Arthur Honegger) has great dignity and is entirely apt to the tenor of the film and the themes it embraces. However, if the real strength of the piece is in the depth and conviction of its characters, their cinematic success is due in no short measure to the quality of the acting. Fantine (Josseline Gael) is perhaps a little melodramatic for modern tastes, and Javert (Charles Vanel) lacks a truly tragic quality, but all told the performances are faithful to the original and convincing, and none more so than Harry Baur as Valjean. His immense physical presence and slow, controlled delivery, combined with his ability to express his inner feelings with little more than a look or a moment's hesitation command our respect and sympathy, making him the perfect incarnation of the tormented but determined Valjean. It wreaks sincerity and a genuine desire to transfer not just the story, but the spirit of the original onto the big screen.


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