After stealing a loaf a bread to feed a starving family, Jean Valjean is sentenced to ten years at hard labor as a galley slave. There he is taught to read and write by another prisoner and meets Javert, an obsessive policeman who was himself born to convict parents aboard a prison ship. After his release, Valjean is treated as a pariah but finally finds shelter in the home of a kindly bishop. Valjean repays the clergyman's generosity by stealing his silver plate. He is apprehended by the authorities and returned to the bishop but is amazed when the kindly old priest tells them that the valuable plates were a gift. This becomes a transforming experience for the ex-convict, who establishes himself under an assumed name in a small country village as factory manager and ultimately mayor. Unfortunately the newly-promoted Javert is assigned there as chief inspector. Although he doesn't recognize his old nemesis at first, the two clash over Javert's overzealous prosecution of the letter of ... Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This version of Victor Hugo's classic novel was not as good as the 1935 version. Obviously, the two leading actors can not compare to Fredric March and Charles Laughton, but let me tell you, Michael Rennie and Robert Newton both gave excellent performances! Joseph Wiseman was excellent in a small role, as were James Robertson Justice, Edmund Gwenn, Cameron Mitchell, Debra Paget, and Sylvia Sidney! Once again, this version was not as good as the 1935 version, but all the actors did their very best, and I believe the result was a movie worth watching, and I highly recommend it! The excellent acting definitely lifted it up to almost the 1935 version!
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