In late eighteenth century France, in the middle of the French Revolution, the unemployed woodman Jean Valjean (Richard Jordan) is arrested for stealing bread to feed his family and sentenced to five years in prison in Toulon. He tries to escape from prison due to the mistreatment from cruel Javert (Anthony Perkins), increasing his sentence. Nineteen years later, he is released, but forced to carry identification that labels him a thief, making him unwelcome at inns and many other places, but is helped by the kind Bishop Myriel (Claude Dauphin) who feeds and shelters him. However, he steals his silverware at dawn, but he is arrested by two Policemen and brought back to the Bishop. The Bishop tells them that the silver objects were a gift, and gives two additional candlesticks to Valjean. When the Policemen leave the place, the Bishop tells Valjean that he has bought his soul, and now he should live an honest life. Jean Valjean becomes a well-succeeded businessman with the alias ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sir Ian Holm (Thenardier) and Anthony Perkins (Javert) appeared in Chillers (1990). See more »
At one point, Javert and his officers wade through the sewers up to their waists in raw sewage. when they emerge, their light-coloured trousers have barely a stain on them, and are essentially clean. See more »
Well, go on. Take your revenge. I am waiting.
[Valjean draws a knife]
Oh, a knife. Of course, that suits a cutthroat better.
[Javert does so, and Valjean cuts his restraints]
You're free. Begone.
You madden me. I would sooner be killed!
I said begone!
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This is the best version of this classic by far. Richard Jordan gives one of his best performances as Jean Valjean. His scenes in the prison are heartrending. And he certainly knows how to draw you in and make you feel a part of it all, you can feel his suffering, his pain and the scene with the priest as he turns himself around is heartfelt and dramatic, he is definitely by far one of the best character actors that ever was. Anthony Perkins is great as Javert, cold, grim and unforgiving and the two of them together, they are great. Angela Pleasence gives a great performance as Fantine and of course John Gielgud, what can you say about someone that is a living legend, because you know whatever he does you know it will be outstanding. So I would highly recommend this one to anyone that loves the classics and not the version that just came out last year, to think they would try to do this classic again where there was already an outstanding version of this story once before was outrageous.
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