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

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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   6,787 votes »
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Up 40% 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 »
User Reviews:
I wish Hugo could have seen it. See more (71 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 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)
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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


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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:
RKO specifically wanted to outdo the 1923 silent version of the story, so a vigorous campaign that spared no expense was undertaken. Much attention was given to advance publicity; no pictures of Charles Laughton in full Quasimodo makeup and costume were allowed to be seen so that a first-time viewing would be a guaranteed shock. Also, the studio hired (at Laughton's request) leading makeup artist Perc Westmore to supervise makeup. Unfortunately, Westmore and Laughton had heated quarrels before a final image for Quasimodo was agreed upon.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The Cathedral is shown as having a full flight of steps up to the front doors. Notre Dame has always been more or less level with the square (le Parvis).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 much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How closely does the movie follow the novel?
How does it end?
See more »
42 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
I wish Hugo could have seen it., 14 June 2002
Author: dbdumonteil

The ending differs from Hugo's novel,but I guess it was necessary to bestow on the audiences a de rigueur happy end when the world situation was getting worse and worse.It' s also dubious that king Louis XI -who died in 1483- might have been aware of Christophe Colomb's plans ,because the latter only informed the king of Portugal-who refused to put up the money for his expedition- in ...1484!

These are minor squabbles.Because this movie is definitely the finest version of Hugo's classic ,much superior to the French one ,directed by Jean Delannoy(1956) with Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida.Dieterle's work is a feast for the eyes with numerous classic scenes ,very clever dialogue,superlative performances and complete mastery of the camera.

The opening-Louis XI visiting a printing house-sums up the turning of history:Gutenberg's invention will allow the knowledge and as the King watches the cathedrals ,he makes us feel that these books of stone are fast becoming a thing of the past.The Middle Ages are coming to an end,but a lot of people ,particularly the clergy do not want to lose the power they have on the populace.When Frollo sentences Esmeralda to death,because of his sexual desire,he puts the blame on the devil.He's a man of the past,diametrically opposite to Gringoire,who epitomizes modernity,and who understands the power of the pamphlet which the printing increases tenfold.

Charles Laughton is by far the best Quasimodo that can be seen on a screen:he's so extraordinary that he almost turns the happy end into a tragedy!He gets good support from a moving and extremely beautiful O'Hara as Esmeralda and from Harwicke as Frollo.

Peaks:the fools day,the cour des miracles -maybe showing some influence by Browning's "freaks"-,all the scenes in the cathedral.Dieterle is on par with the most demanding directors all along his movie:the movements in the crowd are stunning,breathtaking,often filmed from the church towers.Humor is not absent either:Gregoire's eventful night in the cour des Miracles is colorful and funny and scary all at once.

A monument,like the cathedral itself.

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