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Les Miserables (1 of 5) - The Thief and the Bishop


In order to feed his family, Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread and serves a 19-year prison sentence for his crime. After gaining his freedom, he falls into despair once he realizes that no one will have anything to do a convict like him. His fate changes when he encounters a Bishop who guides him on the right path.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 11, 1982
  • Repeat - June 7, 1982





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10 Responses to Episode 1275

I thought this episode was OK but it wasn't one of my favorites. I haven't read the book so I don't know how it compares but there wasn't much subtlety in the plot or performances. Too much of the episode was over-the-top


I loved the mystery theater as a kid. I do not remember hearing this episode back when it was originally aired. I liked this episode a great deal. I recently saw Les Miserables, the musical. This version painted a vivid picture of what the protagonist was undergoing and the compassion of the bishop.


I enjoyed the narration from 3 separate characters in all 3 Acts; the struggling Jean Valjean (played by Alexander Scourby) from ACT 1, the heartless Inspector Javert (played by Bernard Grant) from ACT 2, and the sympathetic Bishop (played by Mandel Kramer) in ACT 3. And the music makes the characters more compassionate, brutish, and/or amicable. I would've rate this CBSRMT episode 5 out of 5, if they picked someone other than Joan Shay to play Madame Magloire. Her voice as a french character sounded tedious to me. They should've picked Carol Teitel (from Ep.0931-THE SEARCH FOR MYRA) or Jada Rowland (from Ep. 0790-A MESSAGE FROM SPACE) because their voices sound tenderhearted. But anyway, this is 1 of the best adaptations I ever heard.


There was nothing particularly distinct about this episode. I feal like I am the only human on the planet that hasn't read or at least seen the movie version of Les Miserables. This episode definitely gives me the impression that Veljean is only growing stronger with every challenge life throws at him. Good beginning to a 5 part classic.


I am a big fan of the Les Miserables book, the 1934 French movie, and Radio Mystery Theatre. Though I also love the musical version, the 1934 movie follows so many details of the novel. I just re-discovered RMT and it is just as wonderful as when I was a teenager. This episode was one that I missed when it was originally aired. Loved it! Thank you for the listening experience. I'm looking forward to listening to the other parts.


I never cared for the musical version of Les Miserables, but this CBSRMT adaptation has made me a fan of the story, (not necessarily the musical, lol) Mandel Kramer's portrayal of the bishop is fantastic. The warmth and compassion in his voice is absolutely perfect in every way. All the other performers were great as well, but especially his performance, which carries the whole episode. The other installments of this Les Miserables series were also very good, but this particular installment stood out as the most potent.


These are my very favorite episodes. I just love the Les Miserable story. You have to be a little patient but it is a wonderful story. Be sure to listen to all 5.


I am the opposite of Amy. I just love the musical version of Les Miserables. In fact, I was hesitant to listen to this version because it might impair the story. I enjoyed the musical so much when I first saw it in the 1980s, that I was compelled to read the entire unabridged story (1300 pages). I probably wouldn't recommend that - since it was originally written as a serial (like a soap opera) with weekly installments to sell newspapers (I think). So the unabridged story does ramble at many points. However, I love the story. And I decided to go ahead and listen to this version. I think it was outstanding , and I can't wait to hear parts 2 through 5. (I was an avid listener of the mystery theater in the 1970s, but I went to college at the end of the 1970s, and I no longer had time to listen to it. So I never heard these last few years)


I've seen this by a few different directors and read the book. I've got to say this is my favorite.


I must say this was such a pleasant surprise. It was not a direct adaption of the book but it shows the spirit of the story. Exemplary performances from all and Alexander Scourby rendition of Jean Valjean was a tour de force. Mandel Kramer as the Bishop added a credibility to the story telling in a way that humanizes Valjean. The depth of the story serves as a reminder of how great radio vividly presents a story in a way that reading a book cannot. I give this series of 5 episodes a 10/10. I love CBSRMT this is by far their greatest work.

NAthan N

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