Les Misérables (1917 film)
|Directed by||Frank Lloyd|
|Produced by||William Fox|
|Screenplay by||Frank Lloyd and Marc Robbins|
|Based on||Les Misérables
by Victor Hugo
|Starring||William Farnum, Hardee Kirkland, and George Moss|
|Distributed by||Standard Pictures|
|Language||Silent film with English subtitles|
Les Misérables is one of many filmed versions of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. It was a silent film directed by Frank Lloyd, co-written by Lloyd and Marc Robbins, and produced by William Fox, released in the United States on December 3, 1917. It starred William Farnum, Hardee Kirkland, and George Moss.
Background and production
Even by the time this film was created in 1917, there had already been "at least a dozen" film adaptations of this Victor Hugo novel. Only a portion of the novel was included in the screenplay, but it included some of "the most famous" events, such as the story of the Bishop who gave Valjean his silver candlesticks in order to start a new life, and the street rebellion that was part of the French revolution.
Jean Valjean is a French peasant who spends almost twenty years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, and then—when his "yellow passport" (given to him because of his status as a convicted criminal) makes it almost impossible to build a new life—he steals silverware from a kind Catholic Bishop who had given him a meal and a place to sleep. When the police find him with the silver they return him to the Bishop to confirm the theft, but the Bishop surprises Valjean by telling the police the silver had been a gift, and then adding his silver candlesticks, saying Valjean must have mistakenly left them behind because they were part of the gift. Valjean uses the money to start a new life under a new name, eventually becoming mayor of a small town, but police inspector Javert suspects Valjean, and works relentlessly to reveal his true identity and his past crimes.
- William Farnum as Jean Valjean
- Hardee Kirkland as Javert
- George Moss as the Bishop
- Gretchen Hartman as Fantine
- Jewel Carmen as Cosette
- Kittens Reichert as Cosette (child)
- Harry Spingler as Marius Pontmercy
- Edward Elcott and Mina Ross as the Thénardiers
- Anthony Phillips as Gavroche
- Dorothy Bernard as Éponine