Jean Valjean, a handsome young woodcutter, is cruelly sentenced to nine years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread he took to feed his starving family. Javert, the ice-cold Inspector of Prisoners, relentlessly persecutes Valjean, determined to keep him imprisoned for life. Hardened by the long years of cruel, unjust treatment, Valjean escapes his captors and at first faces his freedom with an urge for revenge. But a saintly bishop gives him the wealth he came to steal, on the condition that he use it to lead a decent life. Alas, Valjean is not left alone to pursue his goal. Inspector Javert, the official responsible for Valjean's brutal treatment in prison, reappears in his life, dedicated to arrest and jail him forever. It is the love of a young revolutionary for Valjean's beautiful ward, Cosette that endangers the fugitive's perilous freedom.