Clopin bought Esmeralda from the gypsies when she was young. Dancing in the square at the festival, Esmeralda is spotted by Jehan, the evil brother of the good archdeacon Claude Frollo. When he sets Quasimodo out to kidnap Esmeralda, Phoebus, Captain of the Guards, rescues her and captures Quasimodo. The courts sentence Quasimodo to be flogged, and the only one who will give him water while he is tied in the square is Esmeralda. After Clopin forces Esmeralda to leave Phoebus at the ball, she sends a note to Phoebus to meet her at Notre-Dame. In the garden, Phoebus is stabbed in the back by Jehan. Esmeralda is accused of stabbing Phoebus, convicted by the courts and sentenced to hang. When Esmeralda again rejects Jehan, he tells her that Phoebus is dead, even though it is not true. Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo all try different ways to save Esmeralda. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A competition was held in 1923 through Universal through various Photoplay music (stock silent music) companies to come up with a theme song for the film. The winner was Maurice Baron, whose characteristic reverie "The Chimes of Notre Dame" was used as the main theme. The original cue sheet to the film came with a copy of the piece for piano, with the suggestion that it be used imperatively. See more »
After Esmeralda gives Quasimodo water (he's still chained down), the nose putty on Quasimodo's left cheek is coming loose - there's a noticeable gap between Lon Chaney's face and the nose putty used to make the fake cheek. See more »
Well made and moving, not my favourite version but recommended
If I were to say what my favourite versions were, they are the 1939 film with Charles Laughton and the 1996 Disney version. Neither are the most faithful to the book but I found myself to be the most engaged and most moved by them. This 1923 film is very good though. I did think some of the more secondary roles were rather stock here, especially Phoebus and Jehan, but still found the actors adequate. For its time and even now the film is very well made with beautiful(if not quite as Gothic of 1939) cinematography and make-up. The music score is also very good, atmospheric and often haunting, and the story is compelling too. I did find the ending to be of an anti-climax somewhat though, it is much more moving and convincing dramatically in the book and in other versions. The performances are very good on the whole, with Lon Chaney stealing the show as a grotesque and poignant Quasimodo, and Patsy Ann Miller as a beautiful and understated(if perhaps not quite sexy enough) Esmeralda and Ernest Torrance as Clopin faring best in support. All in all, recommended for especially how it was made and for Chaney. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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