Les Miserables | Chicago Reader

Les Miserables

Not an adaptation of Victor Hugo, but a 20th-century story “inspired” by this literary touchstone. The corny and flamboyant Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) is the writer-director, and Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the replacement for Hugo's Jean Valjean—an illiterate fellow named Henri Fortin who befriends a Jewish family fleeing from Nazi persecution. The family reads the Hugo novel aloud to him while they travel together, and apparently they all come to realize how much their lives are like great literature. With Annie Girardot, Philippe Leotard, and Clementine Celarie.

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