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.
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
This adaptation from the famed Victor Hugo novel came to the screen at the end of Twentieth Century's existence as a separate film company before joining with Fox Films. Starring Fredric March as Valjean and Charles Laughton as Javert, it would be worth watching just for those two, who are at the height of their acting powers in this.
Others in the cast are Florence Eldridge (Mrs Fredric March) as Fantine, Rochelle Hudson as Cosette, John Beal as Marius (a bit of a wet fish), and Ferdinand Gottschalk as Thenardier. The novel is re-interpreted and expanded to include, for example, some sense of Cosette growing up in the care of Valjean. There are also some memorable visuals - notably the court scene where Valjean reveals his identity, and the shot of the handcuffs Javert leaves behind when he goes to his (off-screen) suicide.
A worthy adaptation of a memorable and complex novel. Less obvious that some versions which have appeared in later decades, this 30s film is probably the best adaptation that has been made.
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