Jean Valjean, a Frenchman imprisoned for stealing bread, must flee a police officer named Javert. The pursuit consumes both men's lives, and soon Valjean finds himself in the midst of the ... See full summary »
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Jean Valjean, pursued through the years for a minor infraction by the implacable policeman Javert, attempts to create a life for himself and for his adopted daughter Cosette amid the ... See full summary »
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Fernando A. Rivero
Jean Valjean, a Frenchman of good character and great strength, is convicted of stealing a loaf of bread, an act that sets in motion a lifetime of misery for Valjean, as he is pursued by the uncompromising and brutal lawman Javert. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
There are numerous changes to the novel, including: reducing Valjean's prison term to 10 years (1800-1810) instead of 19 (1796-1815), abridging the ordeals of Fantine (probably to conform to Hays Office Code), having Cosette learn Valjean's true identity at the start, changing the backstory of Eponine from street urchin to secretary, and stating the students' goal to be law reform rather than overthrow of the government. The streetwise little boy Gavroche, a popular character from the novel, is not shown at all. See more »
The prison ships are of a make discontinued before 1800. See more »
[looking around the empty hallway]
Javert? You're here! I know it! Where are you? Where are you?
See more »
Two or three superb moments are worth seeing for fans of the novel. March gripping the candle holders and in the throws of doubt. This is the only version that shows that goodness does not always come easily to this man. He is constantly locked in a struggle with his own selfishness or desires. Montage of Valjean and Cosette eating soup and sharing other affectionate moments together as she grows up. These are vital transitional scenes that are sorely missing from the novel and go a long way towards making the girl likeable. Javert's moment of realisation that he cannot bring Valjean in after all. Laughton plays it to the hilt in typical Hollywood 1930's style, but it is the defining moment for this character. These scenes add and embellish on the novel's themes and make this version worth a trip to the video rental store. I mean this is an adaptation, people. You want to be a purist? Go read the book.
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