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 »
Henri Fortin is poor and iliterate former boxer. Ziman is rich Jewish lawyer from Paris. During WWII they meet when Fortin agrees to drive Ziman's family to Switzerland. Intrigued by Victor... See full summary »
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.
In the book, Monsieur Thenardier identifies himself as "Napoleon's Sergeant." Ian Holm has actually played Napoleon himself in several films. See more »
At one point, Javert and his officers wade through the sewers up to their waists in raw sewage. when they emerge, their light-coloured trousers have barely a stain on them, and are essentially clean. See more »
And I promise you, there is more joy in heaven over the face of an repented sinner than the white silk robes of a hundred just men.
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This is a great story and for me this is the best screen adaptation of it. Although Geoffrey Rush puts in a decent performance in the newer film release (1998), Anthony Perkins' Javert simply cannot be bettered with his steely, cold personality and determination. Jordon also does well with the Valjean character, emitting a personality of pride and restraint in the face of adversity. The story moves on at a decent pace and provides good characterisation without too much lagging.
Overall this is a fine production and I personally find it vastly superior to the latest film incarnation with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush where I didn't particularly like either of the portrayals of the leading characters, even though they were well-acted. This version may have the obligatory TV Movie feel to it, but it still manages to rise above its Big-screen counterpart.
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