Les Misérables

After I returned home, I sat down to watch “Les Misérables,” not the musical of a few years ago, but the 1935 movie with Fredric March as Jean Valjean.  I had seen the musical version from 2012 several times, and I appreciated how this film went along at a good pace, and without Anne Hathaway.  The scene in which Valjean was given the silver candlesticks was quite powerful.  Charles Laughton was Javert, and he was memorable as this relentless hunter.  When Russell Crowe played this character, he hardly inspired any emotion other than the dread of having to hear him sing.  When Cosette wants to stay behind for Marius, it feels like a horrible mistake, and we really feel like Valjean is in eminent danger with the violence right outside the door.  When it was Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, I didn’t think anything was going to happen.  I didn’t see why Valjean cut the ropes tying Javert’s hands.  I also don’t know why he confessed to his real identity at the trial and then complained about the confiscation of the money.  It’s like he lost any sense of the real world.  Cosette was such a fool for secretly seeing Marius.  It put Valjean’s life at risk, and Marius seemed like a real chump to begin with.  I was curious about Rochelle Hudson and so looked up some information about her.  She was in “She Done Him Wrong” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” as well as a television show called “That’s My Boy” with Gil Stratton.  In 1972, someone found her dead in her home, sprawled on the bathroom floor.  She was only 55.  John Carradine was a notable member of the cast.  Gregg Toland was the cinematographer.  I didn’t know very much about the director Richard Boleslawski.  He made movies with Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Boyer, and Irene Dunne.  He died in the middle of the production of “The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” with Joan Crawford, William Powell, Robert Montgomery, and Frank Morgan.  There were many differences of this version of “Les Misérables” with the novel, like the absence of the character Gavroche, but I liked watching this film more than the 2012 musical.  I thought this was one of best performances I’ve seen from Fredric March, although I don’t remember “I Married a Witch” or “Death of a Salesman.”  This film doesn’t end with the death of Valjean.  Producers never wanted to end their Hollywood movies on a sad note.  I thought about those candlesticks and why Valjean didn’t sell them.  There is a lot to think about in this film.  I’d like to see it again one of these days.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 16, “Great Day in the Morning,” starring Robert Stack, was released.  In 1966, Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” album was released.  In 1970, the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album “Déjà vu” reached Number One on the album chart.  In 1986, the ninth season finale of “Dallas” aired on CBS, revealing that Bobby Ewing was still alive and that the entire season was his wife’s dream.  Also in 1986, “Top Gun” was released. Today is Pierce Brosnan’s 65th birthday.

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1 Response to Les Misérables

  1. I love the musical, Les Mis, and wouldn’t have been possible without the 2012 musical movie. The movie was the beginning leading to seeing the stage show 5 times and reading the book and so on

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