This Mexican version of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is surprisingly strong, possessing more than the usual amount and dramatics for a Spanich-language production. It stacks up as boff b.o. for foreigntongue houses and plenty of dinero for its distributors in the world market. Film's boxoffice chances in U.S. market depend largely on whether it is given English titles before set on general distribution, since it now has no superimposed titles.
Long familiar story of Jean Valjean's struggle to evade the relentless Javert, French police inspector, is done with marked skill by a capable cast headed by Domingo Soler as Valjean. Direction of Fernando Rivero, who emerges as one of Mexico's top directors as a result of this, goes far towards making the production jell. Story of this conflict between two men and the clash of revolutionaries with gendarmes and Paris soldiers is given adequate production and sufficient clarity by producer Jose Luis Calderon. In fact, his handling of mass scenes, new trick shot and bright closeups marks an advance for Mexico film production. While thing represents a bundle of cash.
Main complaint is inability of the studio staff to get away from the usual tedious opening sequences. But this can be overlooked in view of the spread of action in subsequent reels. Even the chase through the Paris sewers is done with utmost fidelity as to detail.
Domingo Soler is brilliant as the stalwart Jean Valjean, the man who attempted to live down his past, despite a tendency to substitute deep sighing for acting in earlier passages. Manolia Saval, as his daughter, Cosette, not only is one of the most attractive femmes from the Mexico studios, but okay as a light actress. Antonio Bravo makes his Javert deep-dyed villain, but an effective one. David Silva is the courageaous Baron Marius who joins the revolutionaries and nearly loses his life. Margarita Cortes, as the other girl, is strong in a lesser role. Andres Soler is an underworld crook, and Emma Roldan his wife and partner in crime. She's okay, but he tries to make too much of a lesser character.
The screenplay by Roberto Tasker, Fernando Rivero and Ramon Perez is skillful. Camera by Ross Fisher is topflight. Wear.