Les Misérables (1948 film)

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Les Misérables
Les Misérables (1948 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Riccardo Freda
Produced by Carlo Ponti
Written by Riccardo Freda
Victor Hugo
Mario Monicelli
Vittorio Nino Novarese
Starring Gino Cervi
Cinematography Rodolfo Lombardi
Edited by Otello Colangeli
Release date
  • 21 January 1948 (1948-01-21)
Running time
140 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Les Misérables (Italian: I miserabili) is a 1948 Italian drama film directed by Riccardo Freda.[1] It is based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name.


  • Gino Cervi as Jean Valjean
  • Valentina Cortese as Fantina / Cosetta
  • Hans Hinrich as Javert (as Giovanni Hinrich)
  • Luigi Pavese as Thenardier
  • Jone Romano as La Thenardier
  • Gino Cavalieri as L'archivista della polizia
  • Massimo Pianforini as Il vescovo Myriel
  • Duccia Giraldi as Cosetta da bambina
  • Nino Marchetti
  • Alba Settacioli (as Alba Setaccioli)
  • Andreina Pagnani as Suor Simplicia
  • Aldo Nicodemi as Marius
  • Joop van Hulzen as Il barone Gillenormand
  • Delia Orman as Eponine
  • Ugo Sasso as Enjolras
  • Rinaldo Smordoni as Gavroche (uncredited)
  • Luigi Garrone (as Luigi A. Garrone)
  • Dino Maronetto
  • Franco Balducci
  • Marcello Mastroianni as Un rivoluzionario
  • Giuseppe Pierozzi
  • Ada as Duccia (uncredited)
  • Gabriele Ferzetti as Tholomyes, un cliente di Fantina (uncredited)
  • Luisa Leonardi as La sorvegliante della fabbrica (uncredited)

Differences to the novel[edit]

The film greatly differs from the novel: (Note: This list takes only the largest differences into account; in smaller details there are even more.)

  • The baker from whom Valjean steals the bread shoots him.
  • Neither Valjean's sister nor her children (for whom he originally stole) are mentioned.
  • Valjean is number 872 in prison (in the book it's 24601 and 9430) and he is released after 18 years.
  • Javert is introduced in the prison, watching closely over Valjean. In the book he is not introduced before Montreuil-sur-Mer.
  • Valjean only confesses his identity after getting advice from Fantine's nurse.
  • The confession is sent directly to Javert via letter.
  • The factory of Madeleine is an iron foundry.
  • A random worker starts a fire that leads to several people's death to allow Valjean to escape.
  • The scenes in the convent are left out.
  • Marius meets Cosette after hiding in Valjean's house and trying to force Valjean at gunpoint to send the police away - which Valjean does anyway.
  • Valjean runs into Thénardier when he goes to Gorbeau street to warn Marius to stay away from Cosette.
  • It is only after Cosette begs that Valjean goes to the barricade to save Marius.
  • Javert never goes to the barricade and Valjean never saves his life.
  • Marius is the son of Baron Gillenormand, the prefect of police, and has changed his name to Pontmercy. As such he is immune and cannot be prosecuted after the riot.
  • One gets the feeling that the real reason for Javert's suicide is the fact that the Prefect of Police (the highest authority in the police) will not press charges because the offender is his son. In addition, he says that the man who rescued his son must be a good man, despite Javert's insistence that he is an ex-convict. The claim that his belief ("Criminals cannot change") was shattered by Valjean's goodness has no grounds.
  • At the day of Cosette's and Marius' wedding, Valjean is told by the Prefect that a man called Thénardier had important revelations for him. Valjean goes to confront Thénardier, who shoots him and then falls through a trapdoor to his death. Valjean makes it back to his house after the wedding and dies while Cosette reads to him from an adventure novel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NY Times: Les Misérables". NY Times.com. Retrieved 13 March 2009. 

External links[edit]