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Les misérables (1958)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jean Valjean / Champmathieu
... Javert (père et fils)
René Fleur ... Le cardinal
Julienne Paroli ... Madame Magloire
... Monseigneur Myriel
... Un gendarme (as Ardisson)
Christian Fourcade ... Le petit ramoneur
Jean Ozenne ... Le préfet de Montreuil
Bernard Musson ... Un bourgeois
Danièle Delorme ... Fantine
Elfriede Florin ... La Thenardier
... Thenardier
Madeleine Barbulée ... Soeur Simplice
Gerhard Bienert ... Le président du tribunal
... Un bagnard
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

12 March 1958 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Los miserables  »

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Technical Specs

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(DVD) | (cut)

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the "Battle of Waterloo" flashback, English soldiers can be heard singing "The British Grenadiers," one of the most famous UK martial songs. See more »

Quotes

[Valjean on his deathbed, talking to Marius after Cosette's turn]
Jean Valjean: [facing Marius] I'm all right. I've got to confess this to you, Marius. I haven't liked you too much, but you know how it is.
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Connections

Version of Your Show Time: The Bishop's Experiment (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best version? No. A good version? Yes.
29 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

To me, the best versions of Les Miserables- a literary classic, and "the great French novel" for a reason- are the ones from 1935, 1978 and especially 1934. Apart from some draggy pacing, staid directing and the very unexciting barricade scenes, this film was still very good and as an adaptation is better than the 1952, 2000 and especially 1998 adaptations. The film looks very detailed and beautiful if at times too clean, and the photography is very skillful and mostly fluid(if clumsy at times in the scenes with the barricade). The music is haunting and dynamic and occasionally playful, while the script is very literate and maintains the brusque nature of Hugo's prose and the story is faithful in spirit to the book with some parts expanded on like with Valjean and Javert- though things were changed to accommodate the age difference between the actors- and Valjean and the bishop, which none of the other adaptations or even the book for that matter did. The storytelling is still poignant and the message of the book is there and it resonates. Of the cast the standouts are Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier and Bourvil. But that is not to dispute Daniele Delorme as a touching Fantine and while Béatrice Altariba achieves some pathos if not being entirely successful at overcoming Cosette's blandness. Gabin is a noble and understated Valjean with a lot of charisma and emotion, his change from immorality and redemption is portrayed very convincingly. Blier's Javert is cold-blooded, obsessive, strong-principled but there is vulnerability and a conflicted side he brings to Javert as well, which stops him from becoming too much of a one-dimensional antagonist. Bourvi's Thernadier is very slimy and funny, one of the best in the role actually, he manages not to be too sadistic or buffoonish, for a comic-villain role that Thernadier is those are a danger and Bourvil doesn't fall into that trap. In conclusion, a very good film and adaptation but from personal perspective it's not a first choice. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox


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