A small time thief is recruited by a mobster to help with the racketeering. He doesn't like the job, but with the mob on his back, a femme fatale in his bed and a sick friend to care for, he will have to keep all his wits about him.
Quasimodo, the hunchback bellringer of Notre Dame's cathedral meets a beautiful gypsy dancer, Esmeralda, and falls in love with her. So does Quasimodo's guardian, the archdeacon of the cathedral, and a poor street poet. But Esmeralda's in love with a handsome soldier. But when a mob mistakes her for a witch, it's up to Quasimodo to rescue her and claim sanctuary for her in the cathedral. Written by
How is it possible that such a brilliant cast could make such a bad adaptation of a classic novel? Anthony Hopkins is not allowed to put any real life into Quasimodo, and Derek Jacobi just barely lets us see into his tortured soul. Lesley-Anne Down is laughable as an actress, although breathtakingly beautiful. The real surprise here is David Suchet, who plays a character utterly unlike any we are used to -- a far cry from Poirot!
Why was I disappointed? The sound is terrible, the cuts between scenes disjointed, the scenery poorly constructed, and the actors are hemmed in by a terrible script. We are not given insight to the relationship between Quasimodo and the Archdeacon, nor between Pierre and Esmerelda. Tim Piggott-Smith has about the best character development, and he is a secondary character at best.
Cameos by such luminaries as John Gielgud and Nigel Hawthorne heightened the disappointment even more. This one is really a stinker and a waste of England's best talent.
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