Not only had I never seen Les Misérables, but I didn't even know what it was about. Spoiler alert, it's about miserable people.
Well, sort of. It's about how society treats "miserable" criminals, punishing them for their crimes after their sentence had been served.
Playing Jean Valjean in 1935's Les Misérables was Fredric March, the same actor who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1931.
While I've heard mixed reviews of the 2012 version, I really liked the original. Maybe its because I didn't know the plot, but, despite being slow at times, it was a beautiful and enjoyable film.