Les Misérables (1952 film)

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Les Misérables
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Screenplay by Richard Murphy
Based on Les Misérables 
by Victor Hugo
Starring Michael Rennie
Debra Paget
Robert Newton
Edmund Gwenn
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Edited by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • August 14, 1952 (1952-08-14)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.1 million (U.S. rentals)[1]

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 if 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.

Radio adaptation[edit]

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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Box-Office Hits of 1952", Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. ^ Kirby, Walter (December 21, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved June 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read

External links[edit]