A musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel "Notre Dame de Paris" which follows the gypsy dancer Esmeralda and the three men who vie for her love: the kind hunchback Quadimodo, the twisted priest Frollo, and the unfaithful soldier Phoebus.
Rome, 1905. Lina, a music hall singer, has fallen in love with Sergei, a Russian prince. Maestro Doria, who gives her voice lessons and who hopes to make her his mistress, takes her to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Shortly before his death in ancient Israel King David has a vision from God telling him that his younger son Solomon should succeed him as king. His other son Adonijah is unhappy and vows ... See full summary »
Paris, 1482. Today is the festival of the fools, taking place like each year in the square outside Cathedral Notre Dame. Among jugglers and other entertainers, Esmeralda, a sensuous gypsy, performs a bewitching dance in front of delighted spectators. From up in a tower of the cathedral, Frollo, an alchemist, gazes at her lustfully. Later in the night, Frollo orders Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer and his faithful servant, to kidnap Esmeralda. But when the ugly freak comes close to her is touched by the young woman's beauty... Written by
The scene of Quasimodo's coronation was shot twice for each version of the film. For the original French-language version, he is crowned 'Pope of Fools', as in the novel, and wears a mock Papal tiara. For the English-language version, he is crowned 'King of Fools', and wears a royal crown. This was because the American Hays Code forbade mocking of the clergy. See more »
Anthony Quinn, in full monster regalia, remains in the memory...
'Notre Dame De Paris,' set in medieval Paris in the year 1482, tells the moving story of a beautiful gypsy dancer and a grateful hunchback who adores her...
Quinn's distinctive interpretation of the ward of the cathedral in the sumptuous, wide-screen, full-color version of the Victor Hugo successful historical novel, is full of vitality as well as pity...
Despite the spectacular appearance of Gina Lollobrigida, top-billed as Esmeralda, it is Quinn in full monster regalia who remains in the memory, not many lengths behind Lon Chaney and Charles Laughton...
The motion picture is focused on the events leading to Esmeralda's trial for witchcraft and the stabbing of her noble lover, the cavalier of King Louis XI... Esmeralda is accused of the crime, tortured and sentenced to death... When she is about to be hanged, Quasimodo pushes the hangman aside, sweeps her into his arms, and carries her into the sanctuary of Notre Dame...
Much of the rich atmosphere so vividly described in the Hugo irresistible tale - the happy Festival of the Fools, the Court of Miracles, the cathedral and its role as the center of medieval Paris, the storming of Notre Dame - provide the spectacle a timeless message of lust, jealousy, prejudice, hate, compassion and love...
Quasimodo is just 'one long, ugly face from his head to his toes,' but in his distorted body, there is lot of humanity, kindness, and gratitude... Quasimodo lives high in the church towers... We see him exceptionally agile, showing no fear for its height, climbing down its facade, embracing its huge bell, telling Esmeralda in halting words that she is safe within the walls of the cathedral... That day, Quasimodo leaps onto 'Big Louise' and rides his beloved huge bell back and forth sending its mighty sound throughout Paris for his beloved Esmeralda...
Esmeralda is the sensuous gypsy girl, who ascends the pillory to quench Quasimodo's thirst... She is fond of dancing, noise and open air... She is in love with one man whom she calls the 'bright sun.'
Master Frollo (Alain Cuny) is the man in black who inspires respect and fear... He is the haunted Archdeacon of Notre Dame, an expert on witchcraft... It is said that he is the greatest magician of all France, but magic is merely illusion... Frollo is completely taken with Esmeralda's beauty... He is the king's judge who lies about the ravishing temptress who follows him in his dreams... His thoughts are like Quasimodo's face, ugly! ('We are brothers.. your face and my soul..')
Phoebus (Jean Danet) is vain, arrogant, and opportunistic... To him, the Gypsy girl is a sexual object to be cynically manipulated, used and rejected... The only love which the Captain of the King's Archers recognizes is narcissism... His tendency to erotic self-love and his excessive self-admiration...
Robert Hirsch is the harmless poet - educated under the patronage of Master Frollo - who breaks the laws of the kingdom of thieves and beggars, and has one chance to live...
'Notre Dame De Paris' shows us that human nature always struggles between two opposing forces: The light and the darkness, the grotesque and the beautiful, love and hate, hope and despair...
26 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?