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13th October, 2014

Release date announced for Les Misérables and Intolerance

Steve-Eureka

Two titles will be joining the Masters of Cinema Series on 8 December 2014. Raymond Bernard’s Les Misérables [The Wretched], widely regarded as the best adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel will be released in separate Blu-ray and DVD editions. Whilst Intolerance [Love’s struggle throughout the ages], described by The New Yorker as “Perhaps the greatest movie ever made”, starring Lillian Gish, the icon of silent Hollywood and a cast of thousands will be released in a Blu-ray edition.

The most thorough of all film adaptations of Victor Hugo's immortal novel, Les misérables [The Wretched] was a triumph for director Raymond Bernard, one of the more overlooked filmmakers of the early French cinema.

Originally released in quick succession as three separate features in 1934, Bernard's film recounts the story of the ex-convict Jean Valjean (Harry Baur) harried by the wicked Inspector Javert (Charles Vanel); of the virtuous Fantine (Florelle, née Odette Rousseau) who sells herself into prostitution for the welfare of her daughter Cosette (Gaby Triquet as the young girl Cosette, and Josseline Gaël as the young woman); and of intersections of these threads and more in an impressive rendering of Hugo's stately tapestry.

Newly restored in 4K at its original length by Pathé, Les misérables is a major accomplishment on the level of storytelling, and a major component in the history of French film.

Also announced the release of Intolerance. After shaking the world with his hugely controversial epic The Birth of a Nation, pioneer filmmaker D. W. Griffith spared no expense in putting together his next project, Intolerance (Love’s struggle throughout the ages): a powerful examination of intolerance as it has persisted throughout civilisation, set across four parallel storylines that span 2500 years.

Starring such luminaries as Lillian Gish, Constance Talmadge, and Miriam Cooper, who share screentime with an enormous main cast and some 3,000 extras, Griffith's film — the most expensive motion picture ever produced at the time — went on to become a critical success whose influence has only grown in the decades since.

Les miserables and Intolerance will both be released on 8 December 2014.

@mastersofcinema

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