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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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4,387 ( 206)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tim Barlow ...
Timothy Bateson ...
Banker
Veronika Bendová ...
David Birkin ...
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Patsy Byrne ...
...
Mother Superior
Václav Chalupa ...
Ian Cregg ...
...
Grantier
...
Zdenek David ...
Peasant (as Zdenék David)
Paola Dionisotti ...
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:

£243,307 (UK) (27 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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 Inspector Javert is at the home of Cosette and Jean ValJean, he writes a letter and asks Cosette for an envelope which she produces for him. The type of pre folded, flap envelope that Cosette gives him would not have been invented or for commercial use in 1832, the time period of Les Miserables. Rather, correspondence would have been folded inside another sheet of paper and sealed with a wax seal and brass sealing ring or tied with a string or ribbon. See more »

Quotes

Captain Beauvais: [pointing a pistol at Valjean with a trembling hand] Are you a convict? Is that true?
Jean Valjean: Yes.
Captain Beauvais: Where's the inspector in there?
Jean Valjean: Inside
Captain Beauvais: Did you kill him?
[Valjean shakes his head]
Captain Beauvais: [lowers his pistol] That's a pity.
Captain Beauvais: [hands over his pistol to Valjean] You'd better hit me hard enough... to make a lump.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the people of Kutná Hora and Mairie De Paris. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Les Misérables: Musical Review (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Abridged yet effective
1 December 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The first point that bears emphasis about the 1998 film adaptation of Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" is that it is highly abridged. Even more abridged than abridged versions of the novel and even more abridged than the story used for the popular musical. Characters such as Éponine and Gavroche are absent from this adaptation. This will offend those looking for a closer adaptation of Hugo's novel, but it does not bother me that this film focuses on the story of Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Cosette and Marius. The basic story for those unfamiliar with it, takes place in 19th century France and follows a poor thief, Jean Valjean, who is relentlessly pursued by Inspector Javert, even after reforming his ways.

Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush are excellent as the reformed and generous ex-convict and his relentless pursuer. The rest of the performances are commendable as well, particularly from Uma Thurman as Fantine, Claire Danes as Cosette and Hans Matheson as Marius. Claire Danes, in addition to giving a solid performance, seems to fit well with the iconic image of Cosette that has come to represent musical productions of the story.

Visually this film is impressive as well with sweeping representations of Paris, Vigo and other locations and appropriate costumes. Basil Poledouris' score was also fitting for the story. The story, though abridged, still effectively gives us the touching tale of the plight of the poor in France, a reformed and ceaselessly generous convict, an overzealous inspector and those around them. I always enjoyed the clash of ideals and cat and mouse game between a reformed criminal and a man who clings to the ideal that no criminal can ever be reformed. This version of "Les Misérables" is recommended for those that are not uncomfortable with heavy abridgements to Hugo's classic novel.


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Life in prison for stealing bread? mostuniqueinall
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