Les Misérables: Production Notes

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Acclaimed French filmmaker CLAUDE LELOUCH, whose classic examinations of intimate emotions include the Oscar-nominated "A Man and A Woman," paints a sweeping portrait of the human condition in his epic drama "Les Miserables," a twentieth-century tale inspired by the the nineteenth-century masterpiece of French writer Victor Hugo. Lelouch's "Les Miserables" focuses on two French families who struggle, hope, suffer and ultimately find love and friendship in the face of nearly insurmountable odds.

The film stars international acting legend JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO as Henri Fortin, a humble man whose life takes him through some of the most important events of contemporary times. As he alternately rises to heroism and sinks to criminal desperation, Fortin's existence mirrors the struggle between good and evil that illuminates Victor Hugo's character, Jean Valjean.

When Fortin meets and befriends the wealthy, intellectual Ziman family (MICHEL BOUJENAH, ALESSANDRA MARTINES and SALOME) who are fleeing French and German Nazi persecution of the Jews, he builds an unusual friendship with the brilliant but desperate trio. And for the first time, he learns the story of Jean Valjean and comes to see himself as a real-life extension of Hugo's protagonist.

The Zimans read Les Miserables to the illiterate Fortin as he smuggles them across the country, and by the time their momentous journey is finally complete, they have all come to realize their roles in the parallel epics of literature and life. With a stellar cast that includes ANNIE GIRARDOT, PHILIPPE LEOTARD and CLEMENTINE CELARIE, Claude Lelouch incorporates vignettes from Fortin's past, from the lives of Fortin's and Lelouch's own parents and from Hugo's novel into the saga, spanning generations and delineating his and Fortin's belief that "there are only two or three stories in the world and we must all live them over and over." "Les Miserables" is written, produced and directed by Claude Lelouch, freely adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo.

Production: Warner Bros. Presents, In Association with Les Films 13/TFI Films
Production, With the Participation of Canal+, A Claude Lelouch Film.

"Les Miserables" is written and filmed by Claude Lelouch


Main Cast:

Henri Fortin - Jean-Paul Belmondo
M. Ziman - Michel Boujenah
Madame Ziman - Alessandra Martines
Farmer's Wife - Annie Girardot
Fantine - Clementine Celarie
Farmer - Philippe Leotard
Inkeeper - Rufus


Music is by Francis Lai, Philippe Servain, Erik Berchot, Michel Legrand and Didier Barbelivien. The music is performed by Patricia Kaas.

Distributed by Warner Bros., A Time Warner Entertainment Company.

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