Les Miserables Reviews
The cast, first of all, is excellent. Fredric March gives a great performance in the lead role of Jean Valjean. He kind of represents a sort of compassionate people who understand that giving is more important than taking and that kindness is above the law. Opposite him is Charles Laughton as Inspector Javert, who believes in the law above all else. He's kind of a human manifestation of the law; he even turns himself in after he makes a minor mistake. I've been on the fence with Laughton until now - I loved him as Henry VIII and thought he was hit-and-miss in "Mutiny on the Bounty", but after seeing this I can't deny his gargantuan screen presence. He loses himself in his characters and steals every scene.
"Les Misérables" is also technically excellent. Gregg Toland's cinematography is great to look at; there are some excellently framed shots, especially a climactic one where we see Javert following Jean's adopted daughter Cosette (Rochelle Hudson) as she turns into the estate where she lives with her "father". The score by Alfred Newman is also excellent.
My only problem with the film is one I'd assume a lot of people have: it's too short. Brevity is fine and the movie is well paced, but coming from such a massive novel, this film feels like it has gaps in places that could've used a bit more explanation. Apart from that, it's an excellent black-and-white drama that's never boring.
(1935) Les Miserables
Although, there are so many versions told from many points of view, and from different standpoints, I can't seem to forget some of the scenes from this one at all, which is a non musical and a true reflection about what it was like living during the Victorian age. From the popular Victor Hugo novel starring Fredric March as Jean Valjean condemned to be prosecuted and stalked for missing his parole for stealing a loaf of bread by an officer who made it as part of an obsession by the name of Inspector Javert played by the brilliant Charles Laughton. A realistic point of view of a Charles Dickens play of "A Christmas Carol" using the words of charity and compassion, as well as frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life".
4 out of 4 stars
Even the terrible 1998 production was better than this film.
Try the 1934 or the 1957 versions if you want a good film, that also remains loyal to the source material.
In the early 1900s a former French prisoner who has established nobility fails to appear for parole. A ruthless police officer tracks him down for over twenty years waiting for his opportunity to bring the nobleman down. The nobleman does nothing but great things for his countrymen. The goodness of the noblemen will not deter the policeman from executing his job.
"I only ask that you do not look for evil where none exists."
Richard Boleslawski, director of The Garden of Allah, Operator 13, Theodora Goes Wild, The Painted Veil (1935), and The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, delivers Les Miserable. The storyline for this picture is amazing. There is so much drama throughout the film and the characters are written and delivered so well. The cast delivers awesome performances and includes Fredric March, Charles Laughton, and Cedric Hardwicke.
"I spit on your nobilities."
I came across this picture while flicking through the channels and had to DVR it. I was mesmerized by the characters, both good and bad, throughout this entire picture. The story is so dramatic and compelling and the end is brilliant. This is a wonderful movie that I strongly recommend seeing and it is worth adding to your DVD collection.
"Money seems to go one way: out."