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.
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
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 »
At c. 38 minutes Jean Valjean arrives at the inn spotlessly clean after wallowing in mud freeing a man trapped in a coach on his way there. See more »
If that thing on your face is a smile, take it off and get on with your work!
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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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