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Les Misérables (1998)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, History | 1 May 1998 (USA)
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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 »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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4,474 ( 35)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tim Barlow ...
...
Banker
Veronika Bendová ...
David Birkin ...
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Patsy Byrne ...
...
Mother Superior
Václav Chalupa ...
Ian Cregg ...
...
Grantier
...
Zdenek David ...
Peasant (as Zdenék David)
...
Forewoman
Edna Doré ...
Old Woman (as Edna Dore)
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Storyline

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 student revolutions in France. Written by Tim Kearns <tskearns@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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The legend comes to life.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, and for some sexual content | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les misérables  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,011,840 (USA) (1 May 1998)

Gross:

$13,871,914 (USA) (17 July 1998)
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(Technicolor)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The town in which Jean Valjean becomes mayor is named Montreuil-sur-Mer in the book. This is a real port town in the region of Calais, across the waters from England. English readers of the book often missed this fact, as most past translations transcribed the town's name "blanked out" as "M____-sur-M__". In the movie the town is called Vigau, a name made up of the first and last syllables of Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables. See more »

Goofs

When Fantine is sick and in bed, she coughs up blood and smears it on her face. In the next scene, no trace of blood is on her face. See more »

Quotes

Javert: It's a pity the law doesn't allow me to be merciful.
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Crazy Credits

The cast is credited in alphabetical order during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Version of Les Misérables (1935) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not true to the story... but entertaining for superb acting
14 March 2005 | by (India) – See all my reviews

It is not possible to make a movie out of this marathon Victor Hugo novel (the original version I borrowed from library got around thousand pages and I had to settle for an abridged one) without leaving out some good portions. It is only to see what portions are left out and what are stressed. That depends on the director's or screenwriter's judgement. See Dumas' "Count of Monte Cristo" and you'll know what I'm talking about. That movie seemed to be based upon an already abridged version at the first place... such incoherent it was. What audience would appreciate is about making a good film, not following every bits of novel little by little. And that is why "Les Misérables" is a good film. It showed excellently what it showed. What is left out is left out, be it some characters that has no major relation to what the director thought to be the main story or some solitary incidents however interesting they might be.

It's got a nice star-studded cast. Geoffrey Rush is magnificent as Inspector Javert. If I am to stress one aspect of his totally excellent acting it would be his accent. I just loved it. Rush brought that vintage English accent instead of the expected French accent, that's I think became more suitable. Liam Neeson is an acting genius and I would place this one perhaps as his third best, behind "Schindler's List" and "Michael Collins" of course. He is definitely the obvious choice for such type of lead roles. The two main young characters of the film are played nicely by Claire Danes and Hans Matheson. Danes acted up to the standard of this film's allover acting level, which is quite good. Although somehow I feel Uma Thurman is a poor choice for Fantine. Her acting was not up to that level.

There are around 15-odd screen versions of Les Misérables including TV movies etc. The French production of 1982 by Robert Hossein was good and was definitely longer and more detailed than this. Many would disagree but I think this one by Bille August is better than that. Call it vulgar Hollywoodisation of old classics but still it's a worthy film on its own right, perhaps due to superb casting.


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Life in prison for stealing bread? mostuniqueinall
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