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- Richard Jordan as Jean Valjean
- Anthony Perkins as Javert
- Angela Pleasence as Fantine
- Caroline Langrishe as Cosette
- Joanna Price as young Cosette
- Christopher Guard as Marius
- Ian Holm as Thénardier
- Caroline Blakiston as Madame Thénardier
- Timothy Morand as Enjolras
- Dexter Fletcher as Gavroche
- Cyril Cusack as Fauchelevent
- Claude Dauphine as Bishop Myriel
- John Gielgud as Gillenormand
- Celia Johnson as Sister Simplice
- Joyce Redman as Magliore
- Flora Robson as The Prioress
Differences from the novelEdit
The plot mainly follows the novel of the same name, but there were many liberties taken: (Note that this list includes mainly major differences, in small detail, there are many more)
- The novel begins with Valjean's backstory.
- The elder Valjean children are sent out to beg.
- Valjean escapes when saving another convict who had fallen while repairing some battlements; in the book, he saves a sailor and fakes his death much later in the story; after he had already been released and convicted for a second time.
- Valjean calls himself M. Madeline rather than Madeleine.
- Valjean's new procedure for making black glass beads is actually one from Toulon.
- After Valjean rescues Fantine from prison, he tells her to come and see him if she ever needs him. She does a few days later. In the book, he takes her to the hospital immediately.
- Fantine's backstory is not shown, only told.
- After his arrest, Valjean escapes from the carriage with which he is transported to the prison.
- The Thénardiers don't appear again after Valjean fetched Cosette from them.
- Cosette and Marius meet during a public speech from Marius' rebel society.
- Valjean tries to talk Marius into abandoning the rebels.
- Javert finds Valjean in the sewers and confronts him about what happened at the barricades; in the book, he finds Valjean near the Seine and does not ask him about his motives for letting him (Javert) go.
- The film ends with the wedding of Cosette and Marius; none of the following events are shown.
- Differences between the film and real-life France
- Valjean is branded with his prison number on the arm (something never done in France).
- Valjean has nearly floor-length hair and beard after his escape, although French convicts were kept close-cropped.
- Valjean becomes the mayor of "Monteis-sur-Monteis" (a town nonexistent in France), rather than Montreuil-sur-Mer.
- Omitted/altered characters