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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Romance | 6 September 1923 (USA)
In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director:

Wallace Worsley

Writers:

Victor Hugo (novel), Perley Poore Sheehan (adaptation) (as Perley Poor Sheehan) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lon Chaney ... Quasimodo
Patsy Ruth Miller ... Esmeralda
Norman Kerry ... Phoebus de Chateaupers
Kate Lester ... Madame de Condelaurier
Winifred Bryson Winifred Bryson ... Fleur de Lys
Nigel De Brulier ... Don Claudio (as Nigel de Brulier)
Brandon Hurst ... Jehan
Ernest Torrence ... Clopin (as Ernest Torrance)
Tully Marshall ... El Rey Luis XI
Harry von Meter ... Mons. Neufchatel (as Harry Van Meter)
Raymond Hatton ... Gringoire
Nick De Ruiz Nick De Ruiz ... Mons. Le Torteru (as Nick de Ruiz)
Eulalie Jensen ... Marie
Roy Laidlaw Roy Laidlaw ... Charmolu
Ray Myers ... Charmolu's Assistant (as W. Ray Meyers)
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Storyline

Clopin bought Esmeralda from the gypsies when she was young. Dancing in the square at the festival, Esmeralda is spotted by Jehan, the evil brother of the good archdeacon Claude Frollo. When he sets Quasimodo out to kidnap Esmeralda, Phoebus, Captain of the Guards, rescues her and captures Quasimodo. The courts sentence Quasimodo to be flogged, and the only one who will give him water while he is tied in the square is Esmeralda. After Clopin forces Esmeralda to leave Phoebus at the ball, she sends a note to Phoebus to meet her at Notre-Dame. In the garden, Phoebus is stabbed in the back by Jehan. Esmeralda is accused of stabbing Phoebus, convicted by the courts and sentenced to hang. When Esmeralda again rejects Jehan, he tells her that Phoebus is dead, even though it is not true. Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo all try different ways to save Esmeralda. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Victor Hugo's Immortal Classic See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

6 September 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El jorobado de Notre Dame See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,223,160, 31 December 1924

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,630,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Ontario) | (TCM Print) | (2006 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to prepare himself for the role of Quasimodo, Lon Chaney held interviews with people who suffered from various physical deformities. His makeup was so masterful for its time that many film patrons believed that the actor playing the title character truly appeared in real life as he did on film. See more »

Goofs

After Esmeralda gives Quasimodo water (he's still chained down), the nose putty on Quasimodo's left cheek is coming loose - there's a noticeable gap between Lon Chaney's face and the nose putty used to make the fake cheek. See more »

Quotes

Quasimodo: [title card] Sanctuary! Sanctuary!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tully Marshall is billed erroneously as "El Rey Luis XI" which is Spanish for "King Louis XI". He should have been billed as "Le Roi Louis XI" which is French for "King Louis XI". See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2006, Film Preservation Associates, Inc. copyrighted a 117-minute version of this film with a music score compiled by Donald Hunsberger and performed by the Robert Israel Orchestra (Europe), Robert Israel conducting. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buenas noches, señor monstruo (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
While not one of my silent favorites, it's quite the spectacle
19 March 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It's hard to rate this film. Much of this is because the film has been floating around for years and is available in many forms--some longer and some significantly shorter. I have a videotape version that only runs about 90 minutes and it lacks any musical score. The version I just saw on TCM lasted almost two hours and had a very good musical score by Robert Israel. However, despite the excellent score he recently wrote for the film, the print itself was in pretty poor shape--looking like it needed further restoration. The review I am giving is for this longer version with music.

The film was exceptional from a technical standpoint. There were huge numbers of extras, very impressive sets that make you think it was really filmed in Paris and the acting was very good. Not surprisingly, Lon Chaney was exceptional and his makeup very convincing. However, despite the technical merit, I still found myself preferring his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA--it was a more interesting story and has been completely restored, so it is a visual treat--unlike HUNCHBACK. Also, the story itself never seemed super-compelling. A good chance I feel this way is that I have seen at least five different versions of the story and it just feels a bit old. So I really can't blame THIS film--it's more a case of "burnout". Still, it's an amazing film and not to be missed by silent movie fans.


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