7.6/10
2,924
31 user 16 critic

Les Misérables (1935)

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Writers:

Victor Hugo (novel), W.P. Lipscomb
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A parole violator in early 19th Century France is relentlessly pursued and persecuted by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Michael Rennie, Robert Newton, Debra Paget
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Raymond Bernard
Stars: Harry Baur, Charles Vanel, Paul Azaïs
Les Miserables (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jean Valjean, convicted of stealing bread, is hounded for several decades by the relentless and cruel policeman Javert.

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Richard Jordan, Anthony Perkins, Cyril Cusack
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jean Valjean, convicted of a minor crime, spends the rest of his life being pursued by a cruel and unrelenting policeman, Javert.

Director: Jean-Paul Le Chanois
Stars: Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, René Fleur
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A variation on Victor Hugo's classic novel by means of the story of a man whose life is affected by and somewhat duplicated by the Hugo story of the beleaguered Jean Valjean.

Director: Claude Lelouch
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Boujenah, Alessandra Martines
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Les misérables (TV Mini-Series 2000)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Christian Clavier, John Malkovich
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Jean Valjean, a Frenchman convicted of minor crimes, who is hounded for years by an unforgiving and unrelenting police inspector, Javert.

Director: Robert Hossein
Stars: Lino Ventura, Jean Carmet, Michel Bouquet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fredric March ... Jean Valjean / Champmathieu
Charles Laughton ... Inspector Emile Javert
Cedric Hardwicke ... Bishop Bienvenue (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Rochelle Hudson ... Cosette
Frances Drake ... Eponine
John Beal ... Marius
Florence Eldridge ... Fantine
Jessie Ralph ... Madame Magloire
Mary Forbes Mary Forbes ... Mlle. Baptiseme
Florence Roberts ... Toussaint
Jane Kerr Jane Kerr ... Madame Thenardier
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Thenardier
Charles Haefeli Charles Haefeli ... Brevet
Marilyn Knowlden ... Little Cosette (as Marilynne Knowlden)
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Chenildieu
Edit

Storyline

This is by far the best version of Les Misérables ever made in my opinion and the critics. Charles Laughton makes this movie, but literally every scene and every character add to this amazing film. If you have never seen a Charles Laughton movie this one will get you hooked. His portrayal of Inspector Javert is 2nd to none. He tracks the wanted man Jean Valjean throughout the movie and the twists and turns are so well done even you movie buffs will not see what's coming. The movie takes you through Valjeans life and many crossroads that shape his life. My words don't do this movie justice. This is a must see Drama. The scene with the priest always gets to me, be sure to catch all the dialog. This movie will make you laugh though it is not a comedy. It will make you mad. It will move your heart in a good way. You will become many of the characters as you watch the film. The less you know about the film the better in my opinion which is why my summary is so vague on details. You can ... Written by MarkMann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Immortal Classic That Shook A Nation . . . Is Now A Glorious Picture !

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Misérables See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

20th Century Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There are numerous changes to the novel, including: reducing Valjean's prison term to 10 years (1800-1810) instead of 19 (1796-1815), abridging the ordeals of Fantine (probably to conform to Hays Office Code), having Cosette learn Valjean's true identity at the start, changing the backstory of Eponine from street urchin to secretary, and stating the students' goal to be law reform rather than overthrow of the government. The streetwise little boy Gavroche, a popular character from the novel, is not shown at all. See more »

Goofs

Valjean's coat and cloak have dirt on them while at the White Sergeant, but is clean before and after that. See more »

Quotes

Jean Valjean: I'm ready. All I ask is a few minutes to say good-bye.
Inspector Javert: The law allows you nothing.
See more »

Connections

Version of Les Misérables: Gods and Demons (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Message to Javert-- "Get a Life".
26 November 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

So stealing a loaf of bread gets you years in a squalid prison, rowing a galley with a thousand other poor souls that never goes anywhere. Some justice. And if you miss a parole appearance, you get a monomaniacal cop named Javert who has no life other than chasing you down. So, if you're like Val Jean, wouldn't you get mean and anti-social too. And when invited out of a storm by a priest, no less, it's only natural that Val Jean looks to steal what he can. But then, a funny thing happens. When the cops bring him back with the stolen goods, the priest gets him off the hook by saying the stolen candlesticks were a gift. It's an act of mercy, something the law has never shown him. Now Val Jean sees that life might be lived in a kinder, gentler way. And when he leaves and comes to the literal and figurative fork-in-the-road, he remembers the words of humane wisdom given him by the priest. Traveling in a new direction, he becomes the good man he has always been, waiting to be brought out. Now, if only he could get that merciless cop off his trail, life would be good.

Fine dramatization of Hugo's great plea for social reform in 19th century France. I wonder what our own Depression era audiences saw in the story, given the oppressive conditions of the 1930's. March is compelling as the reborn Val Jean, while Laughton makes for an unforgettably quirky Javert. But I wonder too, what would change if the aristocratically handsome March played Javert, with the very unphotogenic Laughton as Val Jean. That would challenge our comfortable stereotypes and make for a more interesting and humane message. Then too it's unfortunate that someone in production felt the audience wouldn't get the spiritual message without being hit over the head with heavenly choirs and light beams from above. I guess that was done for box-office returns. But too often Hollywood has reduced the profound to the hokey, thereby corrupting the message and turning spirituality into a mere matter of stage craft. Nonetheless, the moral remains a telling one, as relevant now as it was 70 or even 170 years ago. Law exists only on paper, while justice—as they say—dwells in the human heart. It is not a truth Javert, the slavish servant of the state, can live with. Hugo was not only a great writer, but a very good man, as well.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed