IMDb > The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 24 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   7,007 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 64% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Sonya Levien (screen play)
Bruno Frank (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Hunchback of Notre Dame on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 December 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Impact ! Power ! Pathos ! Drama ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
NewsDesk:
(23 articles)
Icymi November's First Half
 (From FilmExperience. 18 November 2014, 7:30 PM, PST)

94-Year-Old O'Hara Finally Gets Academy Recognition Tonight
 (From Alt Film Guide. 8 November 2014, 10:07 PM, PST)

Watch: 45-Minute Documentary on Director Robert Wise
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 5 November 2014, 8:54 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Notre Dame's Celebrated Bell Ringer See more (73 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Laughton ... The Hunchback / Quasimodo

Cedric Hardwicke ... Frollo (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)

Thomas Mitchell ... Clopin

Maureen O'Hara ... Esmeralda

Edmond O'Brien ... Gringoire
Alan Marshal ... Phoebus
Walter Hampden ... Archdeacon

Harry Davenport ... King Louis XI
Katharine Alexander ... Madame de Lys
George Zucco ... Procurator
Fritz Leiber ... Old Nobleman
Etienne Girardot ... Doctor
Helene Whitney ... Fleur de Lys
Minna Gombell ... Queen of Beggars (as Mina Gombell)
Arthur Hohl ... Olivier
Curt Bois ... Student

George Tobias ... Beggar

Rod La Rocque ... Phillippe (as Rod LaRocque)
Spencer Charters ... Court Clerk
Kathryn Adams ... Fleur's Companion
Diane Hunter ... Fleur's Companion (as Dianne Hunter)
Sig Arno ... Tailor (as Siegfried Arno)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddie Abdo ... Singer (uncredited)
Louis Adlon ... Venus (uncredited)
George Barrows ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Vangie Beilby ... Contestant (uncredited)
Lionel Belmore ... Judge at Esmeralda's Trial (uncredited)
Barlowe Borland ... Dubois (uncredited)
Gene Clark ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Richard Clayton ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Earl Clyde ... Juggler (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Soldier (uncredited)
Alan Copeland ... Choirboy (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Guard (uncredited)
Laura Hope Crews ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jack Curtis ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harold DeGarro ... Stilt Walker (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dick Dickinson ... Wooden-Leg Man (uncredited)
Charles Drake ... Young Priest (uncredited)
Arthur Dulac ... Mars (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Soldier (uncredited)
Gretl Dupont ... Lissy (uncredited)
James Fawcett ... Festival Ball-Walker (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harry Fleischmann ... Minor Role (uncredited)
J.C. Fowler ... Nobleman (uncredited)
Thom Fox ... Jupiter (uncredited)
Vallejo Gantner ... Merchant (uncredited)
Peter Godfrey ... Monk (uncredited)
Alexander Granach ... Soldier (uncredited)
Edward Groag ... Moon (uncredited)
Laurie Hale ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Mercury (uncredited)
Charles Halton ... Printer (uncredited)
Rondo Hatton ... Ugly Man (uncredited)
Al Herman ... Short Fat Soldier (uncredited)
Louis Jean Heydt ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Otto Hoffman ... Deaf Judge (uncredited)
Billy Jones ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Townsman (uncredited)
Cy Kendall ... Nobleman Signing Petition (uncredited)
Victor Kilian ... Esmeralda's Hangman (uncredited)
Louis King ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Ann Kunde ... Townswoman (uncredited)
John Laird ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Beggar (uncredited)
Jack Lawrence ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Elmo Lincoln ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Ray Long ... Festival Skeleton Dancer (uncredited)
Theodore Lorch ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Joseph P. Mack ... Workman in Play (uncredited)
Margaret McWade ... Younger Sister (uncredited)
Consuelo Melendez ... Singer (uncredited)
Frederic Mellinger ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Victor Metzetti ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Arthur Millett ... Count Graville (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Beggar (uncredited)
Angela Mulinos ... Helene (uncredited)
Ferdinand Munier ... Defense Attorney (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Whipper (uncredited)
Lillian Nicholson ... DeLys' Servant (uncredited)
Nestor Paiva ... Man in Street When Gypsies Arrive (uncredited)
Gail Patrick ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Eleanor Pellapreau ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tempe Pigott ... Madeleine (uncredited)
Antonio Pina ... Ladder Man (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Second 'Ugly Man' Contestant (uncredited)
Elsie Prescott ... Contestant (uncredited)
Dewey Robinson ... Butcher (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno ... Knight (uncredited)
Charles Schaeffer ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Saturn (uncredited)
Margaret Seddon ... Older Sister (uncredited)
Ward Shattuck ... Festival Juggler (uncredited)
Alan Spear ... Festival Contortionist (uncredited)
Walter O. Stahl ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Rudolf Steinboeck ... Peasant in Play (uncredited)
Anne G. Sterling ... Gypsy Girl (uncredited)

George Suzanne ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Louis Valaris ... Tightrope Man (uncredited)
Harry J. Vejar ... Noble (uncredited)
Harry Weil ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mary Lou Wentz ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Gisela Werbisek ... Grandmother (uncredited)
Cecil Weston ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Louis Williams ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
William Dieterle 
 
Writing credits
Sonya Levien (screen play)

Bruno Frank (adaptation)

Victor Hugo  (as Victor Hugo's)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (original composition by)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph H. August (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William Hamilton (edited by)
Robert Wise (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
George Bau .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Mel Berns .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Perc Westmore .... special makeup effects artist: Charles Laughton's Quasimodo makeup (uncredited)
 
Production Management
J.R. Crone .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Killy .... assistant director
Argyle Nelson .... assistant director
John Pommer .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Alfred Herman .... associate art director (as Al Herman)
Chesley Bonestell .... background paintings (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John E. Tribby .... recordist
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
 
Stunts
Marie Bodie .... stunt double: Maureen O'Hara (uncredited)
Joe Bonomo .... stunt double: Lon Chaney (uncredited)
Archie Butler .... stunt double: Alan Marshal (uncredited)
Dick Crockett .... stunt double: Quasimodo (uncredited)
George DeNormand .... stunt double: Rod La Rocque (uncredited)
James Fawcett .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Perrin .... stunt double: Rod La Rocque (uncredited)
Ione Reed .... stunt double: Maureen O'Hara (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
George Suzanne .... stunts (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent .... stunt double: Quasimodo (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical adaptation
Robert Russell Bennett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... conductor (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Ernst Toch .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Peter Berneis .... assistant: Mr. Dieterle
Ernst Matray .... dance director
Will Price .... dialogue director
Louis Van der Ecker .... technical advisor (as Louis Vandenecker)
Ray Atchley .... stand-in (uncredited)
Michael Audley .... assistant: Mr. Dieterle (uncredited)
George Bax .... stand-in (uncredited)
Bill Brennan .... stand-in (uncredited)
Dick Crockett .... stand-in (uncredited)
Murray Darcy .... stand-in (uncredited)
Ned Davenport .... stand-in (uncredited)
Rudi Feld .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Edna Marisle .... stand-in (uncredited)
Frank Mills .... stand-in (uncredited)
Gale Mogul .... stand-in (uncredited)
Grace Moody .... stand-in (uncredited)
Jack Paul .... stand-in (uncredited)
Carda Rae .... stand-in (uncredited)
Rada Rae .... stand-in (uncredited)
David Robel .... dance director (uncredited)
Sue Shannon .... stand-in (uncredited)
Hope Taylor .... stand-in (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent .... stand-in (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Victor Hugo's Immortal Classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
117 min (Turner library print) (copyright length)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:G (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1985) (1998) (2006) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #5504) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was RKO's last release for 1939 (and second costliest in its history, next to Gunga Din (1939)). Although it premiered about the same time as Gone with the Wind (1939), it held its own at the box office, grossing an impressive $3.155 million.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Quasimodo's misplaced eye never moves or blinks, belying the fact that it is a prosthetic.See more »
Quotes:
Clopin:Try to take a purse out of that pocket, but if one single bell jingles, you fail.
Gringoire:And then?
Clopin:And then you hang!
Gringoire:[pondering for a moment] Can you do it?
Clopin:I'm above that sort of thing. I cut throats. I don't cut purses.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Ave MariaSee more »

FAQ

How closely does the movie follow the novel?
In what year is the story set?
When was Notre Dame Cathedral built?
See more »
32 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Notre Dame's Celebrated Bell Ringer, 30 August 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Though the French have done many versions of Victor Hugo's celebrated classic, this version starring Charles Laughton has certainly stood the test of time and is the best known and loved in the English speaking world.

Lon Chaney, Sr. did an acclaimed silent version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Laughton was following a great tradition. And he did it in the manner of Chaney, almost without dialog. Not that Hugo wrote too much dialog for Quasimodo in his story, but except for his time with Esmerelda in the tower after he rescues her, Laughton is almost speechless in the film. Of course his character in addition to being deformed is also deaf from the ringing of those cathedral bells.

Quasimodo born deformed as he was, was left as an orphan on the steps of the Notre Dame cathedral in medieval Paris. Raised in the sheltered atmosphere of the church, he derives some joy in his duties as the bell ringer in the tower. His mentor is the brother of the archbishop played by Cedric Hardwicke and the archbishop is Walter Hampden. Quasimodo's life is useful, but without love.

But Laughton is crushing out on Esmerelda the gypsy girl played by Maureen O'Hara in her American screen debut. Problem is that Hardwicke is also getting hot and bothered by her.

Hardwicke's role is the second best acted in the film next to Laughton's. He's a man with shall we say some issues. He's purportedly committed to the church and it's celibacy requirements. But Dr. Freud wasn't around back in the day of Louis XI to tell us about sex drives. Hardwicke's desires mean only one thing, Esmerelda has to have bewitched him. When he kills Alan Marshal who is also interested in Maureen and looks like he's about to round third so to speak, the blame goes on Maureen.

What I like about the story is how the lives of two very ordinary people, Quasimodo and Esmerelda, become the focal point for a whole lot of religious and political issues of the day. The church, the peasants, the just developing middle class, and the nobility all have an agenda as far as the Esmerelda murder case is going. The only agenda poor Quasimodo has is he's in love with her.

Maureen O'Hara who was a discovery of Charles Laughton back in the United Kingdom was pushed by Laughton for the role of Esmerelda and traveled with him to America to play the part. She was grateful to him ever afterwards for any career she had and can't praise him enough for getting RKO to sign her.

Harry Davenport probably plays the most benign Louis XI ever put on film. It sure is a far cry from Basil Rathbone in If I Were King or Robert Morley in Quentin Durward. He plays him like the kindly grandfather he usually plays on screen.

Thomas Mitchell as Clopin the king of beggars and Edmond O'Brien as Gringoire the poet are two other significant roles. O'Brien gets his first substantial role on screen in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and this was a banner year for Thomas Mitchell. In 1939 he was also in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone With the Wind and Stagecoach for which he won Best Supporting Actor. He could have though for any one of these films.

When all is said and done though the film belongs to Charles Laughton who was the screen's best portrayer of tortured humanity. Even beneath all of Bud Westmore's grotesque make-up we can feel his anguish. He's not a stupid man Quasimodo, he knows how repulsive he is to most of the human race. He's childlike though, something like Peter Sellers in Being There, another character raised in a secluded atmosphere.

To see Charles Laughton at the top of his game in my humble opinion one has to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (73 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
One of my Biggest Problems with the movie michaelsme615
On TCM, July 1st at 8:00pm EDT Godfrey2
The Devil mrnoonmaths
Film compared to the novel dolce7dolore
Thomas Mitchell in Double Role? ElRaisuli
Colour Version of the Movie? The_Lost_Dragon
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Let Joy Reign Supreme Andrei Rublev The Hunchback The Night of the Hunter
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.