GenreDrama, History, Romance ScreenplayRichard Murphy CountryUnited States
Release dateAugust 14, 1952 (1952-08-14) Based onLes Miserables
by Victor Hugo WriterRichard Murphy (screenplay), Victor Hugo (novel) CastMichael Rennie (Jean Valjean), Debra Paget (Cosette), Robert Newton (Etienne Javert), Edmund Gwenn (Bishop Courbet), Sylvia Sidney (Fantine), Cameron Mitchell (Marius) Similar moviesKundan (1955)
Les Misérables is a 1952 American film adapted from the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and featured Michael Rennie as Jean Valjean, Robert Newton as Javert, and Sylvia Sidney as Fantine.
The film greatly differs from the novel. Entire episodes and many characters are dropped, including the Thénardiers and Enjolras. The character of Robert is entirely new.
Valjean serves his time on an actual galley. On leaving the bishop's house, Valjean kneels on a fallen rose. This rose becomes for him the symbol of the bishop's forgiveness (it leads him to putting back some objects he intends to steal from a goldsmith).
When rescuing one of his townspeople as Mayor Madelaine, Valjean does not lift the cart but merely stops it. Javert sets up the trial of an innocent man accused of being the escaped convict Valjean to trick Valjean into revealing himself.
Cosette sees her mother Fantine before Fantine dies. Valjean knocks out Javert before fleeing from the hospital. In the book, he accepts arrest and escapes from the city jail.
Marius and Cosette first meet at the convent when Marius is being chased by the police. Javert follows Valjean through the sewers. Valjean witnesses Javert's suicide, which ends the film.
Michael Rennie as Jean Valjean
Debra Paget as Cosette
Patsy Weil as Cosette (age 7)
Robert Newton as Javert
Edmund Gwenn as Bishop Myriel
Sylvia Sidney as Fantine
Cameron Mitchell as Marius
Elsa Lanchester as Madame Magloire
June Hillman as Mother Superior
Bobby Hyatt as Gavroche
James Robertson Justice as Robert (Fauchelevent)
Joseph Wiseman as Genflou
Rhys Williams as Brevet
Florence Bates as Madame Bonnet
Merry Anders as Cicely
John Rogers as Bonnet
Charles Keane as Corporal
John Dierkes as Bosun
Lewis Russell as Waiter
Les Misérables was presented on Lux Radio Theatre December 22, 1952. The one-hour adaptation starred Ronald Colman, with Paget and Newton repeating their roles from the film.