Director: Richard Boleslawski
Year Released: 1935
Weak adaptation of the Hugo novel with a less-than-stellar Fredric March playing the too-good-to-be-true Jean Valjean and with the book's depth slimmed down to almost trifling proportions. The heavy-handed religious preaching and moralizing are firmly in place, however, as the only 'just' people are those who have embraced the Lord (the priest, the nun, Valjean), whereas the 'unjust' police officer (Charles Laughton) has to commit suicide when he receives what I can only call a vision of the Great Almighty so as to 'redeem himself.' Considering the dozen or so films based on the book, it's hard to argue with its popularity, although quite easy to argue with the message.