Fantine (Frost) moves to the French town of Montreuse to work in a factory. When she loses her job, Fantine turns to desperate measures to satisfy the innkeepers caring for her illegitimate child who demand large sums of money. She sells her teeth and hair, and turns to prostitution. Meanwhile, police inspector Javert (Gabel) becomes suspicious of the town mayor, Monsieur Madeleine (Welles), a relative newcomer. Javert arrests Fantine, but Madeleine pities her and and sets her free. Javert, in revenge, identifies Madeleine to the Paris police as the former convict Jean Valjean.