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.
The scene is set during the French Restoration at the beginning of the 19th century. Jean Valjean, a galley slave who was sent to prison for stealing food, is now released after serving ... See full summary »
This is by far the best version of Les Misérables ever made in my opinion and the critics. Charles Laughton makes this movie, but literally every scene and every character add to this amazing film. If you have never seen a Charles Laughton movie this one will get you hooked. His portrayal of Inspector Javert is 2nd to none. He tracks the wanted man Jean Valjean throughout the movie and the twists and turns are so well done even you movie buffs will not see what's coming. The movie takes you through Valjeans life and many crossroads that shape his life. My words don't do this movie justice. This is a must see Drama. The scene with the priest always gets to me, be sure to catch all the dialog. This movie will make you laugh though it is not a comedy. It will make you mad. It will move your heart in a good way. You will become many of the characters as you watch the film. The less you know about the film the better in my opinion which is why my summary is so vague on details. You can ... Written by
Greatest Film Ever Made! Hardwicke Is A Standout As The Good Priest!
Of course, this is my opinion. Great films are not easily defined, but this has everything in it: strong characterization, great story, great acting, and great scriptwriting. This is also a successful abbreviated adaptation of a very long novel. I first saw it when I was 11 years old back in December of 1979. It stuck in my mind for five years, but I didn't know what the name of the film was or what book it was based on until I accidentally saw the 1978 remake of it on t.v. late one night in 1984. The 1978 version was a good film, but not nearly as good as the 1935 version. I then borrowed the Victor Hugo novel from the library and read it, but it was not until the spring of 1986 that I was able to tape a late night version of this excellent film. Frederic March was the best Jean Valjean. He portrayed both sides of the tortured protagonist (desperate peasant and selfless businessman) with a spirit and passion unequaled by later Valjeans. Charles Laughton was equally superb as the obsessed antagonist, Inspector Javert. One could not help but feel pity for him in the final moments of the film. The best scenes in the film, however, were the ones with Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Bishop Bienvenue. Hardwicke is so credible in his brief scenes that we actually believe he is the kind bishop rather than an actor playing a part. Hardwicke is aided by the brilliant writing of the scriptwriter, W.P. Lipscomb, whose writing here matches Hugo's himself. If there is any movie you should watch before you die, this is the one to see.
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