There’s absolutely nothing all that wrong with this 1978 Brit TV film version of Les Miserables in a kind of “yeah, that’s the story” manner. Oh, it benefits from a clutch of high tone and Brit actors popping up in minor roles, but that has the pitfall of being distracted in that, “Is that Flora Robson?” manner. That sort of thing can be fun with the right material, but this is serious drama — and it expends a good deal of energy making sure you know it, along with how very earnest this is. I don’t know whether it’s this earnestness or a lack of verve on the part of TV movie specialist Glenn Jordan, but something makes the film a little bloodless. For instance, there’s a street fair scene that offered all kinds of opportunities for some visual excitement, but it just lies there. Toss in some dicey wigs and old-age makeup and it just never gets out of its TV special gear. That said, it’s certainly an adequate representation of the essentials of the tale. Richard Jordan makes a respectable Jean Valjean, while Anthony Perkins makes for an interesting and somewhat unusual Javert. He, in fact, makes the whole thing worth watching.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Les Miserables Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.