Police inspector Javert (Gabel) asks Madeleine (Welles), the mayor of Montreuse, France, to dismiss him. Javert had denounced the mayor as the former convict Jean Valjean, only to learn that another man has been arrested as Valjean. Madeleine, who really is Valjean, must decide whether to find the child of the dying peasant Fantine, as he promised her, or declare his real identity to save an innocent man. At the trial, Valjean reveals his identity. Fantine dies when Javert arrests Madeleine and she realizes her daughter has not yet been found.