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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 6 September 1923 (USA)
In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

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(as Victor Hugo's classic'), (adaptation) (as Perley Poor Sheehan) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Kate Lester ...
Winifred Bryson ...
Nigel De Brulier ...
Don Claudio (as Nigel de Brulier)
Brandon Hurst ...
...
Clopin (as Ernest Torrance)
...
El Rey Luis XI
Harry von Meter ...
Mons. Neufchatel (as Harry Van Meter)
Raymond Hatton ...
Nick De Ruiz ...
Mons. Le Torteru (as Nick de Ruiz)
Eulalie Jensen ...
Marie
Roy Laidlaw ...
Charmolu
Ray Myers ...
Charmolu's Assistant (as W. Ray Meyers)
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

6 September 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Notre-Dame-i toronyőr  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Ontario) | (TCM Print) | (2006 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The myth that Irving Thalberg came up with the idea for the movie was dispelled when it was discovered through telegrams and contracts in the collection of Alfred Grasso, Lon Chaney's manager, that Chaney himself suggested not only the story but who would be cast and who would direct. Chaney's original pick for director was actually Frank Borzage, not Wallace Worsley (who had directed several other pictures for Chaney). Erich von Stroheim, Allen Holubar, Chester Withey and Emile Chautard were all considered as well. See more »

Goofs

The hair on the back of the Hunchback's hands appears early in the film and later disappears. See more »

Quotes

Quasimodo: [title card] Sanctuary! Sanctuary!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tully Marshall is billed erroneously as "El Rey Luis XI" which is Spanish for "King Louis XI". He should have been billed as "Le Roi Louis XI" which is French for "King Louis XI". See more »

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.3 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deserves To Be Called A Classic
16 November 2002 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

A very good version of the classic story from the silent era of movie making. The highlight of the movie is clearly Lon Chaney's performance as Quasimodo, the hideously deformed resident of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in the 15th century. One first has to offer kudos for the superb makeup. Chaney is completely unrecognizable in this role. Director Wallace Worsley does a good job of building up sympathy for the Hunchback throughout, and the image of Chaney gleefully swinging off the rope to ring Notre Dame's bells is one that will stay with anyone who has ever seen this film.

Although Quasimodo is the title character, much of the story actually revolves around Esmeralda, who is the object of the affection (some romantic, some fraternal) of almost every male character in the story. The role is played superbly by Patsy Ruth Miller, who possesses both a beauty and an innocence that fit the character perfectly.

Director Worsley also does a marvelous job of creating a dark and ominous feeling around the Paris of that era, as tension between the social classes rises. Ernest Torrence is especially convincing as Clopin, the "King of the Poor" in Paris, and foster-father to Esmeralda, who feels betrayed when Esmeralda falls in love with a member of the nobility (an "aristocrat" as Clopin contemptuously calls him.)

The movie suffered a little bit from what I found at times to be a less than appropriate musical score, and the quality of the film is not especially good (at least when I saw it) but that is hardly surprising given its age. Overall, though, this is a very interesting film that easily holds a viewers' attention.

8/10


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