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.
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Robert Z. Leonard
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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
Contrary to the others films she did in France before this one and where she was dubbed (by Claire Guibert), this was the first time Gina Lollobrigida spoke her lines in French (with a strong Italian accent). See more »
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a very hard film to make. Mostly due to the darkness and despair of the original work. If you've only grown up with the Disney version, prepare to be shocked. I truly liked this effort, as it got a lot of the complexities of each character down. Frollo is a man of religion but also science. His faith and logical mind battling it out as he experiences lust. Esmerelda is a victim of her own beauty, but also plays a hand in her own downfall. She doesn't understand her power over men which leads to her angering of the males. Quasimodo is portrayed as not so much an outcast here. He is known by all, but is awkward and unaware of his strength. This is a film where everyone is guilty for their actions, which also makes them all sympathetic. The design of the film is often too much. WIth so many colors and such production put in it comes across as an over the top school production. Less can be more, but with the final heart wrenching scene, you'll probably be left as an emotional wreck.
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