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Les Miserables Details


Richard Boleslawski directed this lavish adaptation of Victor Hugo's oft-filmed epic novel. Fredric March stars as Jean Valjean, who is hauled into prison for stealing a loaf of bread. After ten years at hard labor, he escapes from the merciless prison but the years have taken their toll and Valjean is now a hard and embittered man. Valjean regains his compassion after the kindly Bishop Bienveenu (Cedric Harwicke) refuses to prosecute him for the theft of his candlesticks. Under an assumed name, Valjean becomes a widely liked and respected mayor. He devotes his life to helping others and adopts a young girl as his own. But the town's chief of police, Javert (Charles Laughton) is suspicious about the mayor and one day, after Valjean lifts a wagon off of a man, Javert remembers Valjean from his days on the prison galley. Javert sets out to uncover the mayor's true identity, but Valjean beats him to it -- when a man who claims to be Valjean is put on trial, Valjean appears at the court and reveals his secret. But before he is arrested, he escapes with his adopted daughter Cosette (Rochelle Hudson) to Paris. In Paris, he assumes yet another identity. Cosette falls in love with student radical Marius (John Beal) and Javert, assigned to Paris to keep an eye on the revolutionaries, latches onto Valjean's trail once again. As Paris simmers in revolution, Valjean and Javert reveal themselves to each other for a final confrontation. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:April 20, 1935


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gregg Toland Best Cinematography 1935 Nominee


Fredric March
as Jean Valjean
Charles Laughton
as Javert
Cedric Hardwicke
as Bishop Bienvenu
Rochelle Hudson
as Big Cosette
John Beal
as Marius
Marilyn Knowlden
as Little Cosette
Frances Drake
as Eponine
Jessie Ralph
as Madame Magloire
Florence Eldridge
as Fantine
Ferdinand Gottschalk
as Thenardier
Jane Kerr
as Mme. Thenardier
Eily Malyon
as Mother Superior
Leonid Kinskey
as Genflon
John Bleifer
as Chenildieu
Harry Semels
as Cochepaille
Mary Forbes
as Mme. Baptiseme
Lorin Raker
as Valain
Perry Ivins
as M. Devereux
Davison Clark
as Marcin
John Carradine
as Enjoiras
Ian MacLaren
as Head Gardener
John Carradine
as Enjoiras


Richard Boleslawski
Darryl F. Zanuck
W.P. Lipscomb
Gregg Toland
Alfred Newman
Musical Direction/Supervision