This second incident deals with the unfortunate Fantine and Jean Valjean, now a respectable member of society, thanks to the generous action of the good bishop, and Mayor of the town, is ... See full summary »

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This second incident deals with the unfortunate Fantine and Jean Valjean, now a respectable member of society, thanks to the generous action of the good bishop, and Mayor of the town, is known as M. Madeline. Fantine, betrayed and deserted, is forced to leave her little girl, Cosette, with the evil Thenardier, who abuses the unfortunate child and persistently bleeds the mother with demands for money. She is unable to obtain work and is forced to sell her beautiful hair for ten francs to send Thenardier, who declares that Cosette needs warmer clothing. Later she is told that Cosette is ill and that money is needed for medical attendance. She cannot supply the sum, but encountering a traveling dentist, who is searching for sound teeth from which to construct false plates, she sells her teeth for the needed sum. She is exhausted by the shock of the extraction and Javert, the cruel Inspector of Police, jeers at her. She has refused his advances and he is determined to win her, persecuting... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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25 September 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantine; or, A Mother's Love  »

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1.33 : 1
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Followed by Les misérables (Part III) (1909) See more »

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An educative value which cannot be measured
7 January 2015 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

A film de luxe, which deals with the unfortunate Fantine in Victor Hugo's story, "Les Miserables," and is the second in the series they are producing, based upon incidents in this novel. This one deals with the unfortunate mother, who, betrayed and deserted, is forced to leave her child, Cosette, with Thenardier, who abuses her and constantly bleeds the mother for money. It also shows the arrest of Jean Valjean, who has already been seen as the galley slave, but who has risen to eminence, thanks to the good bishop's assistance and his own determination to merit the bishop's confidence. He is mayor when he is discovered, and through his desire to save another from suffering for him announces himself as Jean Valjean, the former galley slave, and is taken away by Javert, the relentless police inspector, who recalls his face. The scenes are very dramatic, following closely the text of the story and agreeing with the narrative in all essential features. It doesn't require heavy acting to make these films strongly dramatic. The story itself is dramatic, and the mere illustration of the scenes described is sufficient to attract interest and develop dramatic possibilities, which do not reside in other films many times. The question of whether it is advisable to reproduce such scenes is, of course, for the companies to decide. It seems to the writer as though it would pay if not more than one in the audience understood the pictures. But there are many who understand them because they have read the story. Perhaps the showing of the pictures will lead to increased interest in this great literary masterpiece and will exert even more influence in the arousing of a desire to read the best there is in literature than any other cause could do. The film will thus have an educative value which cannot be measured. It is not necessary to criticise a picture which so closely follows the original text and develops the situations in such an attractive and altogether satisfactory way. - The Moving Picture World, October 9, 1909


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