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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:

A Universal Production 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

Lon Chaney's make-up was his most extreme yet. A knotted wig, nose putty on the cheeks, some false teeth, and fake eye made up his visage. The final touch was a plaster hump which, contrary to popular opinion, was only about 10-15 lbs and did not cause Chaney any back problems. See more »

Goofs

The hair on the back of the Hunchback's hands appears early in the film and later disappears. See more »

Quotes

Fleur de Lys: Phoebus - see that pretty goat.
Phoebus de Chateaupers: [looking at Esmerelda] Very pretty indeed!
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

Several video versions of this film exist, with running times from about 80 minutes up to the full time of the theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Backlot Murders (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

starring a true horror legend
12 October 2000 | by Thomas-58See all my reviews

Ah, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". The classic starring horror-legend, and famed "man-of-a-thousand-faces", Lon Chaney. After watching this film now, almost eighty years after its premiere, I wonder why there are no active, present-day horror icons like Lon Chaney has become. Maybe the answer lies in the fact that horror films of this type just are not made anymore. Quick, name a horror character in modern-day film that transcends film itself and is now part of the culture. Aside from the decade old, and increasingly light-weight and irrlevent, Freddy Kreuger, and perhaps Hannibal Lecter (though one can argue his character should not be compared to more conventional horror types like the ones Chaney played), there are none. Or the answer may lie in the fact that never again will there be a performer of the likes of Chaney. His ability to convey emotion through painstakingly applied pounds of make-up set the precedent for Boris Karloff's performances as Frankenstein's monster, and his son, Lon Chaney Jr., both legends in their own rights. And what a make-up it is. Basically operating with only a right eye, a crooked mouth, and flailing arms, his character, Quasimodo, is still an endearing yet tragic hero. His grotesque appearance is made even more appalling due to Chaney's mannerisms, such as his disjointed stride and flickering tongue. Yet, at the same time, the reason the viewer has pathos for the character is because of Chaney's body movements and contortions. Whether it be his rightfully-so mocking of the Parisian townspeople in the beginning of the movie or his reactions to his failing attempts at halting the charge on the cathedral at the end, Chaney is masterful at maximizing the neccessary theatrics that would be obscured under the make-up by any other actor. One of the most touching moments in the film occurs midway, when Quasimodo is whipped as punishment for his master's actions. "I thirst" the intercut caption reads. And just the way Quasimodo appears in that situation, helpless and pathetic, the viewer can almost hear Chaney cry out those words and wants to care for him. Then, he is no longer a "freak of nature" but a misfortunate human who is the only one pure of heart. Like so many "horror" films after it would again emphasize, he is not the "monster", the "normal" people are. This message is timeless. As such, the story, movie, and character are still relevant today - just a few years ago, Disney remade it into one of their feature length animation spectacles. Eighty years from now, heck, even thirty years from now, will the same be true for 90's horror? Will Anthony Hopkins become a deity among horror-movie buffs like Chaney has? This example alone justifies "Hunchback"'s classic status. Final Grade: A


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