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"Spectacular sweep, romantic grandeur, narrative richness, an improbably happy, morally instructive ending -- 'Les Miserables' has all the old-fashioned, totally unfashionable virtues," says TIME's Richard Schickel. Claude Lelouch's film, the seventh screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel, relocates to the 20th century, mostly during World War II. "The film is full of absurd coincidences, broadly archetypal characters and situations (yes, a Nazi thumps out a piano concerto while a prisoner is being tortured nearby), and a sentimentality that verges at times on the woozy," says Schickel. "Yet, it's more sophisticated than the feelings it evokes, and infinitely more compelling than you can imagine a film derived from such a familiar source might be. How pleasurable it is to be absorbed into the bloodstream of this movie and be borne along on its racing pulse!"