7.9/10
8,039
79 user 46 critic

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 29 December 1939 (USA)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (TV Movie 1982)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A disfigured man is feared and tormented by the townspeople of Notre Dame, but he has a sensitive nature of which few are aware.

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Derek Jacobi, David Suchet
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.

Director: Jean Delannoy
Stars: Gina Lollobrigida, Anthony Quinn, Jean Danet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin
Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn
Gunga Din (1939)
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen
Babes in Arms (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The struggle of two talented young artists, to make their own way in the show business.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger
The Hunchback (TV Movie 1997)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on the novel, a young gypsy becomes a Minister's obsession in 1483. Only the bell ringer and her husband and the court of miracles can save her.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Mandy Patinkin, Richard Harris, Salma Hayek
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke
Jamaica Inn (1939)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Cornwall in 1819, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Laughton
The Hurricane (1937)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.

Directors: John Ford, Stuart Heisler
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades - disguised as ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard the HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Frollo (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
...
...
Alan Marshal ...
Walter Hampden ...
...
...
Madame de Lys
...
Procurator
Fritz Leiber ...
Old Nobleman
Etienne Girardot ...
Doctor
Helene Reynolds ...
Fleur de Lys (as Helene Whitney)
...
Queen of Beggars (as Mina Gombell)
Arthur Hohl ...
Olivier
Edit

Storyline

King Louis XI is a wise and old king and Frollo is the Chief Justice. Frollo gazes on the gypsy girl, Esmeralda, in the church during Fool's Day and sends Quasimodo to catch her. Quasimodo, with the girl, is captured by Phoebus, Captain of the Guards, who frees the girl. 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. Later, at a party of nobles, Esmeralda again meets both Frollo, who is bewitched by her, and Phoebus. When Phoebus is stabbed to death, Esmeralda is accused of the murder, convicted by the court and sentenced to hang. Clopin, King of the Beggars; Gringoire, Esmeralda's husband; and Quasimodo, the bellringer, all try different ways to save her from the gallows. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BIG beyond words!...Wondrous beyond belief!...Magnificent beyond compare! (Title lobby card). See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Victor Hugo's Immortal Classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1939 includes Gail Patrick and Laura Hope Crews among the uncredited players, without role designations. Neither actress appears in the film in any role of prominence, which their status in the industry at that time would have dictated. It's possible, however, they participated anonymously as extras, just for the experience, as many of their contemporaries often did. See more »

Goofs

Quasimodo's misplaced eye never moves or blinks, belying the fact that it is a prosthetic. See more »

Quotes

Witness to flogging: Our whipper could make him cry.
Witness to flogging: Are you saying you have a better whipper in Marseilles than we have in Paris?
Witness to flogging: Yes!
[they knock him off the steps]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #6.21 (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(1572) (uncredited)
Music by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Sung by mixed chorus during opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Fine Adaptation With Laughton, O'Hara, & More
5 October 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Charles Laughton's boisterous portrayal of Quasimodo and Maureen O'Hara's charm as Esmerelda are two of the things that make this version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" a fine production that still works very well. Most of the versions of the story have been at least watchable, because the Victor Hugo novel provides so much good material to work with, much of it well-suited for cinema. This adaptation, though, is one of the best at making good use of what it offers.

It's interesting to compare this picture with the 1923 Lon Chaney version - not for the sake of ranking them, since both are fully worthy of attention in their own right, but because they offer somewhat different strengths, and because they emphasize somewhat different aspects of the story.

Chaney and Laughton are both quite effective as Quasimodo, each giving an interpretation of the character that corresponds to the actor's skills. Laughton brings out Quasimodo's feelings and perspective quite well. In this version, for example, the flogging scene is longer and more detailed, and it is one of Laughton's most effective scenes. Chaney is particularly good at reacting to the other characters and their actions. Both give the character a distinctive and memorable look.

O'Hara is also one of this adaptation's strengths. Patsy Ruth Miller was good in the Chaney version, but O'Hara has the advantage of spoken dialogue, and she makes the character of Esmerelda her own.

While the Chaney version especially emphasized the atmosphere, this one has quite a bit of action. The tumultuous climactic sequences are done quite well, and they leave a vivid impression. Overall, this is a very satisfying adaptation of the fine classic novel.


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Hunchback rokrox
One of my Biggest Problems with the movie michaelsme615
Film compared to the novel dolce7dolore
what version is the most similar to the novel? Somebody help me! sniper-redwolf
If they remade it without all the liberties... GW1988
What is poured onto the villagers at the end? nccomet
Discuss The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?