« Los Miserables »
The Victor Hugo classic, "Les Miserables", has proven itself a durable film property in the past with three English and one French versions to its credit. But the Spanish-language edition, made in Mexico, which arrived at the Belmont yesterday, fails for general audiences because of its departure from the structure of the original. And, as it is being presented without English titles, non-Spanish speakers viewers may find the tragic adventures of the hunted Jean Valjean only a fog of Latin dialogue and gestures.
Set in the revolutionary Paris of 1831, the story opens and is concerned mainly with the declining years of Valjean's life. Such episodes in his harried career as the pursuit through the sewers of Paris and Javert's ultimate suicide also have been altered slightly to fit the contours of this new adaptation. And Valjean's early history is summarily depicted in a series of flashbacks toward the end of the picture. Domingo Soler, a member of a Mexican acting dynasty, makes the ageing, hunted Valjean a resolute and forceful figure, while Antonio Bravo plays his relentless hunter, Javert, as a man possessed. A.W.