Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In 1935, American audiences were treated to two simultaneously released versions of Les Miserables, one made in Hollywood, the other in France. Much the same thing happened in 1952. While 20th Century-Fox's Les Miserables, starring Michael Rennie as beleagured ex-convict Jean Valjean, was making the rounds, a second version, lensed in Italy, was also showing up in selected theatres. Running a fast 112 minutes (hardly enough time to do full justice to the novel), U.S. release of the Italian adaptation starred Gino Servi as Valjean, whose "new" life as a man of position and respect is forever threatened by dogged detective Javert. Valentine Cortese costars as Cosette, Valjean's adopted daughter. English-language prints of the the Italian Les Miserables credit the direction to "Robert Hampton"; in fact, direction was handled by prominent European filmmaker Riccardo Freda.