Jean Valjean (Jean Gabin) is paroled after serving 19 year term in a hard labor prison for stealing some bread. After spending a night in a missionary, he tries to steal some silverware, but he is set straight by a kindly bishop (Fernand Ledoux) who protects him from the police and gives him a set of expensive candlesticks and makes him promise that he has to become a new man that day. Nine years later, Valjean is now a wealthy industrialist and a mayor.
He eventually befriends Fantine (Daniele Delorme), a single mother turned prostitute and risks everything when he comes to her aid, after she’s nearly arrested by police officer Javert (Bernard Blier) – Javert previously served as a guard at the prison Valjean was held in and becomes suspicious that the mayor and Valjean are the same person…
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