(1935)4.5Richard GilliamLes Misérables is one of literature's most durable stories, and this 1935 Hollywood studio effort is one of the best of the numerous English-language film versions, featuring Fredric March and Charles Laughton at the height of their powers. Their battle of wills gives the film its emotional texture. Perhaps more than any other actor who has played Inspector Javert, Laughton captures the insanity of a person who holds concrete values even as those beliefs become a barrier to the happiness of both himself and others. Laughton's performance might be better remembered today were it not for his role as the similarly flawed Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty. Overall, Les Miserables received four Oscar nominations, winning none, and lost the Best Picture award to Bounty.