Based during the French Revolution, Jean Valjean is a prisoner who is given parole but he soon disappears and under an alias becomes major of a small town.
Valjean encounters an ex-employee of his, Fantine, who has had to resort to prostituion and he takes care of her. She soon dies but not without informing Valjean of her daughter, Cosette and she makes him promise to look after her.
When another man is to be executed for being Jean Valjean, he comes clean and confesses. He begs to be allowed rescue Cosette but he isn't allowed by Inspector Javert. Valjean escapes and rescues Cosette before going into hiding.
Many years pass and Cosette is grown up. Marius is part of the Revolution and we he sees Cosette he instantly falls in love.
The Revilution rips through the Parisian streets causing a great loss of life.