Les Misérables (1935)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  20 April 1935 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,526 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 13 critic

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A parole violator in early 19th Century France is relentlessly pursued and persecuted by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Michael Rennie, Robert Newton, Debra Paget
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Raymond Bernard
Stars: Harry Baur, Charles Vanel, Paul Azaïs
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution.

Directors: Jack Conway, Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan, Edna May Oliver
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jean Valjean, convicted of a minor crime, spends the rest of his life being pursued by a cruel and unrelenting policeman, Javert.

Director: Jean-Paul Le Chanois
Stars: Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, René Fleur
Les Miserables (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jean Valjean, convicted of stealing bread, is hounded for decades by the relentless and cruel policeman Javert.

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Richard Jordan, Anthony Perkins, Cyril Cusack
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Edna May Oliver
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles
Alice Adams (1935)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Captain Blood (1935)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An enslaved doctor and his comrades in chains escape and become pirates of the Caribbean.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Alice Brady


Cast overview, first billed only:
Florence Eldridge ...
John Beal ...
Frances Drake ...
Ferdinand Gottschalk ...
Jane Kerr ...
Jessie Ralph ...
Mary Forbes ...
Mlle. Baptiseme
Florence Roberts ...
Charles Haefeli ...
John Bleifer ...


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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Immortal Classic That Shook A Nation . . . Is Now A Glorious Picture !


Drama | History | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Misérables  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is one of only four properties that have had two different adaptations of the same material both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film. This adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel stands alongside Les Misérables (2012). The other pairings were Cleopatra (1934)/Cleopatra (1963), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)/Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and Romeo and Juliet (1936)/Romeo and Juliet (1968). The 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" was the only one of these nominees to win. See more »


Valjean's coat and cloak have dirt on them while at the White Sergeant, but is clean before and after that. See more »


Fantine: [dying in bed] Oh, Monsieur Madeliene, you give everything!
See more »


Version of Les Misérables, Part 2: Fantine (1913) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Message to Javert-- "Get a Life".
26 November 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

So stealing a loaf of bread gets you years in a squalid prison, rowing a galley with a thousand other poor souls that never goes anywhere. Some justice. And if you miss a parole appearance, you get a monomaniacal cop named Javert who has no life other than chasing you down. So, if you're like Val Jean, wouldn't you get mean and anti-social too. And when invited out of a storm by a priest, no less, it's only natural that Val Jean looks to steal what he can. But then, a funny thing happens. When the cops bring him back with the stolen goods, the priest gets him off the hook by saying the stolen candlesticks were a gift. It's an act of mercy, something the law has never shown him. Now Val Jean sees that life might be lived in a kinder, gentler way. And when he leaves and comes to the literal and figurative fork-in-the-road, he remembers the words of humane wisdom given him by the priest. Traveling in a new direction, he becomes the good man he has always been, waiting to be brought out. Now, if only he could get that merciless cop off his trail, life would be good.

Fine dramatization of Hugo's great plea for social reform in 19th century France. I wonder what our own Depression era audiences saw in the story, given the oppressive conditions of the 1930's. March is compelling as the reborn Val Jean, while Laughton makes for an unforgettably quirky Javert. But I wonder too, what would change if the aristocratically handsome March played Javert, with the very unphotogenic Laughton as Val Jean. That would challenge our comfortable stereotypes and make for a more interesting and humane message. Then too it's unfortunate that someone in production felt the audience wouldn't get the spiritual message without being hit over the head with heavenly choirs and light beams from above. I guess that was done for box-office returns. But too often Hollywood has reduced the profound to the hokey, thereby corrupting the message and turning spirituality into a mere matter of stage craft. Nonetheless, the moral remains a telling one, as relevant now as it was 70 or even 170 years ago. Law exists only on paper, while justice—as they say—dwells in the human heart. It is not a truth Javert, the slavish servant of the state, can live with. Hugo was not only a great writer, but a very good man, as well.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Could you see any of the cast members... rowanoak
John Beal (Marius) maybellinezmascaragurl
Does anybody have a copy? chrisstiles
Les Miserables DVD Release--April 24 dnscal
CliffsNotes version for sale!!! hobyandy
'you're in love with her'???? Stacey618
Discuss Les Misérables (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: