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Les Miserables

50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fully restored in HD - An epic in the tradition of Doctor Zhivago and Ryan's Daughter - Sill considered as greatest film adaptation of Victor Hugo's masterpiece, Les Miserables. Jean Valjean (Jean Gabin) is paroled after serving 19 year term in a hard labor prison for stealing some bread. After spending a night in a missionary, he tries to steal some silverware, but he is set straight by a kindly bishop (Fernand Ledoux) who protects his from the police and gives him a set of expensive candlesticks and makes him promise that he has to become a new man that day. Nine years later, Valjean is now a wealthy industrialist and a mayor. He eventually befriends Fantine (Daniele Delorme), a single mother turned prostitute and risks everything when he comes to her aid, after she's nearly arrested by police officer Javert (Bernard Blier) - Javert previously served as a guard at the prison Valjean was held in and becomes suspicious that the mayor and Valjean are the same person. The all-star cast includes legendary character actors Bourvil and Serge Reggiani. Directed by Jean-Louis Le Chabois.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, Bourvil, Daniele Delorme, Serge Reggiani
  • Directors: Jean-Paul Le Chanois
  • Writers: Victor Hugo, Michel Audiard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 188 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A32H1DO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Leograd on May 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I saw the movie for the first time when I was 10. I am not of the French background. I fell in love with the mistique of France. Partly it happened because of the inspiring characters created by Jean Gabin and other gaints of the Hexagon. A discovery for everyone who thinks about G-d, destiny, duty, revolution. To my opinion, that is the only version that wouldn't have made Victor Hugo livid had he seen it. Jean Gabin will always remain the only "authorized", canonic Jean Valjean. All other musicals and shows, no matter how flamboyant and and new agy, are lacking that "since 1815" cognac-like nobility that Jean Gabin embodies so well.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rosettebove@gmail on April 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this movie when it came out, and I also saw most of the other "Les Miserables" as they came out..this one is simply the best (Victor Hugo must have turned in his grave at some of the newer versions) One disappointment for me especially, why do you not offer this classic in the original French version? Gabin was one of the best French actors in this century and his gravelly voice is unique and especially missed in this movie.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By LME on January 5, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found the reviews for this product to be quite confusing. I finally ignored one reviewer and ordered it and crossed my fingers. It is indeed what I was looking for. This is a 1957 film of 210 minute length with an international cast that includes Jean Gabin, Daniele Delorme, and Bernard Blier. Directed by Jean-Paul LeChanois. What I love about this film is that with 3 1/2 hours there is time to develop the plot so much more fully. Also, so much was filmed in or around original locations from the book. I will not debate that strengths and weaknesses of the cast members as it has been a year or two since I have viewed it. (My VHS copy had become quite poor.)

I have seen Les Miserables on stage in Los Angeles and NYC and also an off-Broadway cast that performed it locally. I also saw an ancient B&W film version in a film appreciation class years ago. I do not recall any miscast actors/tresses in the above 1957 production. Overall it is excellent. Yes, the uncle/ward of Marius has some humor written into his part, but he pulls it off well. Thenardier was rather unsavory and lacked the comic relief of the Broadway version. The relationship between Marius and Eponine is expounded upon and is quite poignant. I don't recall much about either Cosette.

An extra note---My ancient VHS copy of this had an entirely different cover. It was distributed by the Bridgestone Group and the only date on it was 1992 for the Sleeve Design. The cover says this was "filmed entirely in France, near or at the actual places where the events from the story took place." It mentions French star Jean Gabin and director Jean-Paul Le Chanois and that it is complete and uncut in its' original 210 minute length. It mentions none of the other cast members.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is an excellent adaptation of Victor Hugo's excellent novel. All the Actors are excellent. The only draw back is that the picture quality is very poor. If it is 'Remastered" this will be the best way yo can enjoy Les Miz (Except for the musical) Buy it its only $25,
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie lives up to all of my expectations about how Les Mis should be acted on the screen. Jean Gabin gives a stellar performance as our hero Jean Valjean, so much so that while watching this movie, you really believe that Jean Valjean is real. A definate must-see for all Les Mis fans.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rosemarie Rauzino-Heller on November 19, 2004
Format: DVD
This film was disappointing, particularly in the awful dubbing. The voices bear no resemblance to the stars' actual voices and I was shocked to find that it was not in French with subtitles. No, it did not say that it was, but I guess I assumed it would be, not being a really well-known foreign film. The Javert doesn't hold a candle to Charles Laughton's evil portrayal; this guy just looks like a dithery older man who somehow got into a bad situation. The Cosette also seems like an airhead. Though the story can hold it's own through almost any treatment, the dubbing was the biggest problem. It did, however, point up the Dickensian situations and characters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Song & story lover on January 1, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Jean Gabin is such a fine actor for this role -- he gives a thoughtful and poignant performance. Despite the 'dated' style of this film, it is perhaps the most honest and powerful version of Les Miserables I've seen on film. Misery is not just understood in a material sense, but as the degradation of spiritual and moral values, and the poverty of spirit that this creates.

This film, like the book, is long (over 3 hrs) and yet (again like the book) it never drags or disappoints. Victor Hugo would have been pleased, I think, with Jean Gabin as Jean Valjean, and surely any lover of this fine novel would be as well. I highly recommend this film - especially for use in high school and college classes, for Le Chanois has directed a marvelous production from beginning to end. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.

_____________________

Since there is no product overview, and since this film is often confused with other versions, here is a formal description:

Les Miserables [VHS] (1957) - A Franco-Italian production.

Inspiring and rarely seen rendition of Victor Hugo's classic novel, with Jean Gabin as Jean Valjean, a petty thief who strives desperately to put his past behind him while a relentless lawman pursues him. Daniele Delorme, Bernard Blier also star. 210 min. Dubbed in English.
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