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 »
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 »
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)
The worst version rather in respect of Victor Hugo
In reaction to the reviewer qualifying this the best version he has seen I feel obliged to point that Victor Hugo is not respected here ; Cosette had a peaceful childhood and appears with Hollywood pretty dresses, and Gavroche,the kid from the miserables (people in misery starving) which becomes an emblem dying during the revolutionary barricades against the oppressive crush from fortunate class and bourgeoisie, is reduced here to deliver a letter ! Try reach the director Raymond Bernard trilogy, with Harry Baur as Jean Valjean. You will discover reality, not "let's not hurt audience" casting or look. Another more faithful version is the one with Jean Gabin, but with so clean miserables ! No, the trilogy by Raymond Bernard, shown from decades on French TV, recently restored by Cinematheque Francaise, seems to be the Victor Hugo book alive. No concession, misery is there, corrupted houses, characters alive rather than actors on parade. This trilogy is beyond art, it is life, as Victor Hugo described it.
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