(1935): Victor Hugo
's most acclaimed novel comes brilliantly to life in this impeccably performed, magnificently filmed screen adaptation. Frederic March
stars as Valjean, the ex-convict who rises against all odds from galley slave to mayor. Charles Laughton
is Javert, the fanatical police inspector who dedicates his life to recapturing Valjean. A vivid depiction of the appalling poverty and social strife of 19th-century France, this version of Les Miserables
does splendid justice to the original novel.
Les Miserables (1952): Michael Rennie, fresh from his success in the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still cuts a very handsome figure as Jean Valjean, and Debra Paget, who would later reteam with Rennie in four more films, makes for a stunning Cosette in this powerful retelling of the classic epic. Costars include Robert Newton (Treasure Island), Edmund Gwenn (Miracle On 34th Street), Cameron Mitchell (How to Marry a Millionaire), Sylvia Sidney (Mars Attack!) and Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein).