movie film review | chris tookey

Les Miserables

20th Century Pictures - all rights reserved
  Les Miserables  Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.40 /10
Fredric March , Charles Laughton , Cedric Hardwicke
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Directed by: Richard Boleslawski
Written by: W.P. Lipscomb from Victor Hugo's novel

Released: 1935
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 109


Reformed criminal (Fredric March) is pursued by implacable police officer ( Charles Laughton).

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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This adaptation is reasonably faithful to the classic novel, but changes the ending so that the hero doesn't die. Charles Laughton (who does die, and in grand style) steals the picture as the villain of the piece, tormented by repressed sexuality (there are hints of homosexuality, sadism and paedophilia). March won a lot of critical acclaim, but is a lot more sympathetic and believable in the first part of the movie than he is after his spiritual re-birth. Cedric Hardwicke (as a bishop) is even more insufferably priggish, and Alfred Newman's pompous score doesn't help. Richard Boleslawski's direction is painfully slow at first, and doesn't extend to helping the child-actors; the outstanding, Oscar-nominated cinematography is by Gregg Toland. Barbara McLean's editing, especially impressive in the Barricades sequences, was also nominated.

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