Fredric March gives a superb performance as the sensitive, persecuted Jean Valjean who steals a loaf of bread to survive, is captured, and given ten years' hard labor. When he finally escapes the prison galley, March is a hardbitten, unsympathetic character, all compassion hammered out of
him by the rigors of confinement. He is taken in by Bishop Bienvenu, played by Cedric Hardwicke, who refuses to prosecute him for stealing two silver candlesticks. Through Hardwicke's kindness and understanding, March regains his sensitive nature and is reformed. He builds a new life for himself
under an assumed name and adopts a young child as his own. He becomes a well-to-do bus...