1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

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1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Lugitum » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:41 pm

In Spain in 1971 there was a TV adaptation called Los Misérables. It was 19 black and white episodes with a length of 7:10:05. The director was José Antonio Páramo, and Jean Valjean was played by José Calvo, credited as Pepe Calvo here.

http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/los- ... -1/2151187
https://www.facebook.com/LosMiserablesM ... 1816567210

You can find all 19 episodes on the 2nd/3rd links, and the 4th link has pictures of it and a review. Of the 20 major TV/film/radio adaptations of Les Misérables that I have watched/heard, I consider this one to be 2nd-5th best and is extremely strong. Although I haven't finished watching the 1964 Italy and 1974 Mexico (only first half available) and 1992 France adaptations yet.

Each adaptation has pros and cons. A strength of this adaptation is that there are some extremely dramatic scenes such as:
-Jean Valjean purchasing the doll Catherine for Cosette after he rescues her from the Thenardiers
-Jean Valjean having a nightmare before leaving for the Champmathieu trial (the chapter "Forms Suffering Takes During Sleep" from the book)
-Jean Valjean having a nightmare in which he is with a grown Cosette in the forest at night, while Fantine is there on her deathbed reaching out for Cosette before dying
-Cosette has a romantic dream of meeting Marius in the garden

This is the only adaptation I have seen/heard that includes Jean Valjean's nightmare before leaving for the Champmathieu trial! I recommend everybody to watch this adaptation immediately since it's one of the very best and very dramatic.

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Ursula_F » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:53 pm

Very cool!!! Does it have Gavroche's brothers and the elephant?

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Lugitum » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:31 pm

I didn't see Gavroche's brothers or the Elephant. You can find them in the 2007 Japan version and the 1961/1962/1963 France TV movie trilogy version. Other versions should also have them but I can't remember right now.

I went to sleep yesterday and had the ninth episode of this adaptation on repeat while I slept. I'm surprised that I didn't have nightmares while I was sleeping! :o

What adaptations have you seen and how do you rank them? What are you watching now?

Please check my thread on the 1943 Mexican film adaptation:

p.s. I like to find other people who have seen/heard tons of adaptations and I am looking for them. I don't know of that many so far, just five, but I need to search.

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Ulkis » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:20 am

Thanks for the links!

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby 23623 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:20 pm

I just started watching this series. It's the first time I've watched a LM adaption other than the musical so I might be surprised by what is actually common in those TV/movie adaptions...so newbie here please bear with me :D And due to my terrible Spanish I can only understand about 60% of the dialogs. If there's any misunderstanding please correct me!

Things I like so far
:arrow: Fantine's death scene. I like it that she dies as in the book, with the white lies, the Cosette hallucination and Bad Guy Javert ruining everything. I don't really like their acting but seeing Fantine suddenly realize that all the time she's just holding onto some false hope really breaks my heart.
:arrow: The Cosette and Fantine scenes before they go to the Thenardiers. OK I just want them to stay together even just for...like one minute? :D
:arrow: The court. One of my favorite scenes so far. Valjean's speech is so powerful. He basically hits everyone in the face with that! In the musical the emphasis of this scene is Valjean's personal dilemma, while here it's about justice to a greater extent. Without a Who am I equivalent I do find his decision rather hasty though.
:arrow: The bishop and dear Inspector. I like their acting. They seem to be the only two whose acting is good enough.

Things I don't like
:arrow: Acting in general. Is it because I'm used to the musical?
:arrow: Valjean meeting Gervais before the bishop. I actually like the Gervais incident A LOT in the book! I'm happy to see it included but I'm surprised it's done this way. Gervais shows people that Valjean actually feels guilty and he determines to be a good man, not that he's a convict! :(
:arrow: Hence the introduction of Valjean as a whole. He doesn't seem like a man who's been walking for four days, despised by people and even dogs when he meets the bishop, honestly.
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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Lugitum » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:03 am

Hello _23623_, did you read the book? Also do you mean the regular music or the 2012 UK film musical? I have seen the 2012 UK musical film, but not the regular musical. You chose a great non-musical adaptation to watch first! :) Let me know if you need a certain part translated and I will try, even though I don't speak fluent Spanish either.

I will re-watch some of those scenes now, and will comment on them. First, Fantine's death:
-Notice how at the start of the scene there is dramatic music, while Fantine is in bed sleeping and moving and probably having a nightmare, and Jean Valjean and Sister Simplice and Sister Perpetua watch her nearby in silence. This shows the true strength of this adaptation, in that it is very dark and dramatic.
-In the book, Sister Perpetua is not actually in the room when Fantine dies, and there are only two beds in the room.
-In the book, the doctor is the one who tells Fantine that Cosette is in the building. In the scene in this adaptation, one of the nuns tells her, probably Sister Perpetua, although she may have told her earlier in this adaptation.
-Notice Fantine's sadness and great acting in her comments immediately after this.
-Fantine hears a girl nearby talking and laughing and believe that it is Cosette, which happens in the novel and is a great addition to any adaptation. However, in this adaptation, it appears that Fantine is hallucinating, considering the child's voice is loud and nobody else reacts to it.
-In this adaptation, Javert is not angry enough when arresting Jean Valjean, maybe because he was at the trial when Jean Valjean was there in this adaptation.
-Fantine's death scene is very well done.

Fantine and Cosette before the Thenardiers:
-Cosette's birth is not included in the novel, but this adaptation includes it. I think this is actually a great addition and is very dramatic. It shows Fantine in a dark room with a candle struggling in childbirth, and then she is brought Cosette.
-The next four scenes are great, and I will describe them for others. In the first one Fantine is washing the ground in a room while Cosette is nearby. In the second one Fantine is knitting in a room while Cosette plays on the bed. In the third one Fantine is at work doing tough labor washing clothes while Cosette is there talking to another female worker, then the boss brings Cosette to Fantine and probably fires her. In the fourth one Fantine is carrying Cosette as they travel through the wilderness somewhere. All throughout these scenes, there is great and dramatic music. This adaptation has one of the best soundtracks of any TV show or TV mini-series or film that I have ever seen.

The Champmathieu trial:
-Maybe Pepe Calvo, the actor who plays Jean Valjean, should have also played Champmathieu here. The actor for Champmathieu doesn't look similar enough to Pepe Calvo, however he does a great job. But using two actors allows both to easily be in the same shots.
-In the book, the courtroom is practically full.
-In the book Javert testifies in the court then leaves, but in this adaptation he is still there when Jean Valjean is.
-In this scene in this adaptation, it appears that Jean Valjean talks too slowly, which contrasts for example with Orson Welles' performance in his 1937 USA radio adaptation.
-I am amazing and happy that this adaptation included Jean Valjean's nightmare he had before leaving for the trial, which I have not seen/heard in any other adaptation yet.

I can't really remember how the acting was for Bishop Myriel and Javert, and others. I don't know if I have a favorite actor for Javert, but for Bishop Myriel, it is Cedric Hardwicke in the 1935 USA film adaptation. Yes, maybe being used to the musical can make you biased towards that style of acting.

It's amazing how, even though the Petit-Gervais scene may be the most important scene in the entire novel, this adaptation puts it as the first scene and adapts it badly. However, this is still one of the top few adaptations of the very many that I have scene/heard. The 2001 UK radio adaptation has one of the best Petit-Gervais scenes. It includes the priest on horseback, Jean Valjean crying, and Jean Valjean being spotted later at three in the morning praying outside the Bishop's house.

If you want an adaptation which adapts strongly in my opinion, Jean Valjean and Bishop Myriel before they meet, I recommend the 1935 USA and 1978 UK versions. You mentioned that Jean Valjean is despised by dogs. He tries to sleep in a doghouse in Digne and is scared away by the dog. So far I have seen/heard this scene only in the 1944 Egypt film and the 2001 UK radio adaptations.

I will recommend the first adaptations that you should watch/hear after this. Research them and then choose your own order based on your preferences. Some are available on Youtube/Torrents/Emule/Etc, but look to purchase them eventually of course:
-1934 France film (5 hours) (There are English subtitles and most people would default to watching this first. Get from UK Amazon the 2014 Eureka Blu-Ray 4k remaster with previously lost new scenes added.)
-1937 USA radio adaptation (3 hours) (This is very well made but short. Available on Amazon.)
-1964 Italy TV mini-series (10 hours) (A longer adaptation, however, there are no English subtitles. So unless you speak Italian, you may want to wait on this one until you have read the novel or watched/heard at least ten adaptations, so you understand the scenes better and get more out of this adaptation. Available on Italy Amazon.)
-2001 UK radio adaptation (6 hours) (A very well made adaptation. Available on UK Amazon.)
-2007 Japan TV animated series (23 hours) (Very long and my favorite adaptation. However it is too light in tone and commits some critically bad changes to the story. Available on Italy Amazon. Here is a torrent with English subtitles http://wasurenai-subs.com/2011/03/les-m ... -batch-out )

How much have you watched so far? What adaptation will you watch/hear next? :)

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby 23623 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:11 am

Oh my God you're truly amazing! *jaw hits ground* Thank you so much for sharing!!! :D

I was introduced by the 2012 musical movie and soon after that I read the book, though apparently I can't remember the details as clearly as you do! *looks at Lugitum in awe* I'm now rereading it and hopefully I'll do better this time. As for the musical, I've watched/listened to everything I can get hold of (that doesn't mean I've seen a lot though) My username is actually JVJ's prisoner number in the 2010 Madrid cast. The cast as a whole is not my absolute favorite but the actor playing JVJ (Geronimo Rauch) is.

I forgot to mention one scene yesterday. The scene where Fantine visits the Thenardiers and leaves Cosette there. I think her acting is the best in this scene. When she looks at Éponine and Azelma playing, there's really longing in her eyes. She hopes that her daughter could live happily as the other girls here (poor, poor, naive Fantine! :( ) I also like the way the Thenardiers pretend to be caring. That totally deceives Fantine. And at the end when Fantine leaves the house she can't turn her eyes away from Cosette. That's really sad when you know what will happen next. Too much foreboding there! The only problem is that the kids really don't know how to act. Their interaction is too awkward.

In fact what I love most about Fantine's death scene is the whole false hope thing. It doesn't matter whether she's hallucinating a Cosette or mistaking someone else for Cosette, either way she's so convinced that Cosette is here. It would be much better if she died clinging to the hope, or knowing right away that Cosette isn't here. And there's the Bad Guy. Honestly this is the only event in the entire book that actually makes me hate Javert. Don't get me wrong I know he's not the bad guy and like him a lot, but he's really not forgivable here.

Agree about Champmathieu. He's basically nonexistent in the musical but I'm glad that he gets some screen time. I also like having the fake and real Valjean in the same shot and keeping contrasting them. Guess I have to thank Valjean for speaking slowly. At least that helps me understand his speech. :wink:

I stopped at Fantine's death this time. Will post more as I continue. Completely agree that I must have picked a good adaption to start with. I like this so far. Looking forward to seeing other adaptions too. I don't know if we are talking about the same thing but I've watched bits of a Japanese anime adaption called Shoujo Cosette. I only picked death scenes but juding from what I've seen I didn't like the anime very much. And there's an Italian series?? God I love that language though I can only understand a little bit using my Spanish knowledge. Guess I'll follow the trend and start with the French adaption after I finish this one. Thank you so much for your expert advice!!

*EDIT* Checked the website and yes we're talking about the same anime. Um...sorry to say that I'm really not into anime! :oops:
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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Lugitum » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:10 pm

What chapter are you on in the book? I am currently on the part where Jean Valjean and Cosette escaped into Petit-Picpus. My translation is by Julie Rose, which is yours? I haven't seen any musical besides the 2012 UK film.

I am watching now the eight minutes where Fantine and Cosette are in Montfermeil. I like it when Fantine sees Éponine and Azelma playing on the swing. In the book:
-Mrs. Thenardier was there singing to her daughters.
-Mrs. Thenardier, is bigger.
-Cosette is only two years old, Éponine two or three, and Azelma a bit younger than Éponine.
-Fantine spends the night at the inn instead of leaving immediately after leaving Cosette.

The part(s) where the three girls are supposedly playing seems strange since they are not really doing anything. Maybe the staff should have given them some jacks or marbles or something. Using younger girls would be more difficult since maybe they wouldn't stay still or not cry.

A few parts I like:
-Mr. Thenardier does look like he does in the original novel illustration.
-Mrs. Thenardier says that the three girls look like they could be sisters, which is in the book.
-After Fantine leaves, Mr. Thenardier to Mrs. Thenardier that the money they just received will help them pay their urgent debts.
-Great shots of Fantine looking back at Cosette before leaving the room and right after leaving Cosette.
-Great shot at the end of the episode of Fantine in the wilderness walking away from Montfermeil, while crying and sometimes looking back.

The darkness and dramatism of this adaptation allows us to forgive some mistakes on it. Overall that is a great eight minutes and it's cons are minor. Yes I like Fantine's acting here also; it is very sad.

Fantine has suffered a lot by the time Jean Valjean saves her from Javert, and is very sick. She clings to life in the hope that she will be reunited with Cosette. Her hope is all she has, and when Javert takes it away from her, it is a tidal wave of despair to her. Javert shouldn't have talked to Fantine like he did in that scene, however he had a very low opinion of her and Jean Valjean at the time.

Shoujo Cosette is a really great adaptation, although it has pros and cons. I recommend watching the first episode at least. Make sure to get the new Eureka 4k remaster of the 1934 version though.

What episode are you on now?

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby 23623 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:22 am

Sorry for my long-time absence! I'm at ep9 now. As for the book, I'm reading the most common e-book version (forget the translator's name but too lazy to look it up). I tried to get a FM version (link: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2219&start=165) which seems to be the best. On the last page deHavilland has posted a link to a website where you can find it but somehow my computer refused to cooperate with that site. :( My reread is very very slow...Valjean just found Cosette at the Thenardiers!

The Youtube link doesn't include ep6. But since ep7 starts immediately with Javert and Sister Simplice's confrontation, I guess it's probably due to wrong numbering instead of a missing ep6. :mrgreen:

Overall, I like the first 5 episodes better because from ep7 to ep10 the story progresses much faster than I've expected. Valjean didn't get captured again. He found Cosette and directly took her away. He met Javert and promptly fled. But what I like most is the graveyard scene. When I read the book I already had a feeling that it must be very interesting to see on screen. The new gravedigger (forget his name, something starting with a G...?) was hilarious. Fauchelevent was exactly how I pictured Fauchelevent. Is it common to fast forward these events in all adaptions by the way? Actually there are many adorable moments in the book that aren't too difficult to incorporate in the series, like Valjean leaving a coin in Cosette's sock as Christmas gift and asking Cosette to play with Catherine.

One thing that made me extremely happy: Valjean actually told Cosette about Fantine! I was literally jumping from my seat and yelling when Valjean said "this letter...was your mother's last wish. She asked me to find you some day. She was very kind...her name was Fantine" (something like that, sorry that my Spanish is not good and please correct me if there's anything wrong) Well done Valjean! I always feel sorry that in the book Cosette doesn't seem to remember Fantine and Valjean doesn't want to talk about her. I remember Cosette once wondered what if Valjean was her mother (or something like that, can't remember exact wording). When I read that I actually felt very sad for Fantine. She was indeed a good woman, a good woman despised and misunderstood who was forgotten by her own daughter. If I were Valjean I would definitely tell Cosette everything about Fantine because she needs to know that. I also like it that Valjean thought about Cosette and Fantine in the convent. My fellow Valjean/Fantine shippers, you have to see this!

A long rant: My biggest disappointment was the Luxembourg Park part. It was toooooo rushed, barely better than the musical!! Both Marius and Cosette seem much bolder than their book counterparts. Even young Cosette seems to be more talkative than in the book. I had a feeling that this was going to be terrible when Cosette left Valjean and wandered alone towards the lake (since when did she do that?) Later seeing that Marius and Cosette actually have interaction by the lake I was like "huh?!" And oh my God Marius was not allowed to learn Cosette's name that fast! Valjean you totally ruined the romance! Marius imagining Cosette as "Ursule" and "the Lark" was one of my favorite moments in the book. So disappointed that they took the whole thing out. At the end of that episode they met in the garden. Marius just miraculously appeared. (Where are you by the way, Thenardiers? Is the robbery gone as well, since there's no Gillenormand and Marius has already, too quickly, found Cosette's address?)
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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby Lugitum » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:22 am

I bought the Julie Rose translation years ago without knowing about the differences between translations, and it's the only translation I have owned. I am currently reading the book and near the end of part 4. I skip most of the foot notes but maybe the next time I read the book I will read the roughly 100 pages of foot notes. From what I read on a thread in this forum, the FM translation may be the best overall, although there are pros and cons for various adaptations.

This is part VI:

I haven't watched the 1971 Spain adaptation much recently, but eventually I will re-watch it. By fast forward I think you mean "skip stuff" (which is extremely common). Les Misérables is around 1200 pages long and an adaptation is three hours on average, which is too short to even be a Cliffs Notes version of the main events even. Listening to an audio book of Les Misérables takes around 65 hours. There may not be a definitive adaptation released yet. Jean Valjean leaving the coin on Christmas Eve in Cosette's clog is a great part! :-)

It's great that Jean Valjean talks some with Cosette about Fantine, but as she grows up, he talks to her less about her. I was reading a part in recent days in the book where the reasons are mentioned. The story of Fantine is very tragic. Jean Valjean should have write down information about Fantine for Cosette to read in later years if he doesn't to talk immediately about her.

From my memory, I remember Marius and a friend at the Luxembourg gardens staring at Cosette from a distance, who is on her own. All this is strange and incorrect. There is a habit of almost all adaptations to make bad and unnecessary changes to the story.

I should add that, as time goes on and I watch/hear more adaptations, my ratings/reviews for them become more "legitimate" as I familiarize myself with the story. An adaptation I can rate high/low early on can have it's review changed over time and get lower/higher. For example one of the first adaptations I saw was the 2000 France version (6 hour long one in French), and I rated it high, but if I saw it now for the first time I would not rate it as high since I know now that it is not one of the better made adaptations.

Also, until recent weeks, I had only read the first 40% of the novel, so I wasn't familiar enough with it, which negatively affects my ratings/reviews. At the moment I am reading it and hope to finish it within a week.

So, reading the book and watching/hearing many adaptations let's me rate/review an adaptation more "accurately" (kind of). I am posting this since I will comment on the 1972 France adaptation. When I originally saw it (it has no subtitles and I don't speak French) I had only read maybe 40% of the novel, which is an issue since it adapts mainly the later 60% of the novel (showing only a lesser portion of the first 40%), and since I don't speak French and wasn't as familiar with all the adaptations at that time, I didn't rate it as high as I should have.

Now I am more familiar with other adaptations and have read more of the book, and I was checking it out again recently. I noticed how it shows many different scenes from part 3 of the book which are not in other adaptations, and has a fairly proper darkness/tone and is put together well in general. I am in happy shock over this and think it will properly adapt the last two parts of the novel as well.

What I mean is that I have improperly under rated this adaptation for a long time. I now consider the 1972 France adaptation one of the better made ones.

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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby singleton » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:23 am

Lugitum wrote:-2007 Japan TV animated series (23 hours) (Very long and my favorite adaptation. However it is too light in tone and commits some critically bad changes to the story. Available on Italy Amazon. Here is a torrent with English subtitles http://wasurenai-subs.com/2011/03/les-m ... -batch-out )

The opening and closing songs are sung by Yuki Saito, who played Cosette in the Original Japanese cast. The closing song is a dedication from Cosette to her beloved mother, with lyrics by Saito. Here is Saito circa December 1986. She's rehearsing Les Mis 2:20 into the clip.


And here are the end credits of Shoujo Cosette, with Watashi no Okaasan playing. Saito's credit as singer and lyricist is 8 seconds into the clip.


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Re: 1971 Spain TV adaptation Los Misérables

Postby 23623 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:37 am

I'm back. :D Actually I've finished it a long time ago but got distracted by other stuff. Sorry for the short review because I had forgotten some details by the time I wrote this! :oops:

First, let me just say I ABSOLUTELY LOVE M. GILLENORMAND. He's such a great character, in the book and also here in this adaption. The actor does a great job in the scene where Gillenormand sits besides the unconscious Marius. I couldn't understand everything he says but I was actually moved to tears just by looking at him! I love that chapter very much in the book. Really glad to see it done so wonderfully.

It's also very interesting to see how they handle Javert's suicide. In the book he contemplates his failure to be a "perfect man" (I don't know how they word it in English translations but it should be something like that) and leaves instructions to his colleagues before his suicide. I love this arrangement because it's so very typical Javert. In the musical he gets a soliloquy before his suicide. Although book-Javert seems incapable of such outburst, it works well in theater because of the emotional impact it creates. And here Javert writes down his last words "For 20 years I've been an irreproachable public servant. Now I've been unable to comply to the law...I'm going to die because life has taught me something that I hadn't been able to discover until now" (again my Spanish is really terrible so please help me correct my mistakes, gracias! XD ) and then shoots himself. Works pretty well too. Wondering what Javert says/writes before suicide and how he decides to kill himself in other adaptions. :wink:

For me the biggest disappointment (I do mean "biggest disappointment" this time. Marius/Cosette romance gets better later on) of this adaption is...Gavroche. He's physically miscast to begin with. Seriously they cast a 17-year-old something who's taller than Valjean as Gavroche? And why does Gavroche die like a random guy at the barricade? Where are his bullets? :cry:

*EDIT* Here's another scene that I love no end. Valjean finds Catherine and Cosette's other stuff and the candlesticks in the room, and later he dreams of Fantine and young Cosette. The surfacing memories make me feel so sorry for Valjean because he already lost Fantine and now he's going to lose Cosette again.

Agree with OP that it's a good adaption in general. Recommend it even if you don't understand Spanish!
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