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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Poster

Quotes

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[Last lines]

Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: [to one of the stone gargoyles] Why was I not made of stone - like thee?

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: I never realized till now how ugly I am, because you're so beautiful... I'm not a man! I'm not a beast! I'm about as shapeless as the man in the moon! I'm deaf, you know, but you can speak to me by signs.

Esmeralda: Why did you save me?

Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: You ask me why I saved you? Oh, I tried to carry you off, and the next day you gave me a drink of water and little pity.

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

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Witness to flogging: Our whipper could make him cry.

Witness to flogging: Are you saying you have a better whipper in Marseilles than we have in Paris?

Witness to flogging: Yes!

[they knock him off the steps]

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: She gave me water.

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: [half-laughing, half-weeping] I'm about as shapeless as the man in the moon!

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: Ohh, you asked me why I saved you. I tried to carry you off, and the next day, you gave me a drink of water, and a little pity.

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Clopin: Try to take a purse out of that pocket, but if one single bell jingles, you fail.

Gringoire: And then?

Clopin: And then you hang!

Gringoire: [pondering for a moment] Can you do it?

Clopin: I'm above that sort of thing. I cut throats. I don't cut purses.

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Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: [holding Esmeralda over his head, to the crowd] Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

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Clopin: [to Gringoire immediately following flogging of Quasimodo] Never trust a man with pinched nostrils and thin lips.

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Louis XI, King of France: [opening scene, at the print shop, after hearing the bells of Notre Dame] I've never heard a more beautiful Angelus. Who is the bellringer of Notre Dame?

Printer: Quasimodo, Your Majesty. The people simply call him the Hunchback.

Louis XI, King of France: What an odd name. And now, Master Fisher, let's see what reason my High Justice had for asking me to come to your shop. What do you call this apparatus?

Printer: The German inventor, Gutenberg, calls it a printing press, Your Majesty.

Louis XI, King of France: What is it for?

Printer: To print books, Your Majesty.

Louis XI, King of France: For whom?

Printer: For the people. They will learn to read when they can get books. I can print a volume, like this one, in a few weeks, and quite inexpensively.

Louis XI, King of France: Imagine, Frollo, a few weeks. When I ordered my prayer book, it took them years to copy it out and cost me a fortune. This is more beautiful than the printed book. Nevertheless, the printing press is a miracle.

Frollo: A horrifying miracle.

Louis XI, King of France: Horrifying? This small press?

Frollo: Small things have a way of overmastering the great. The Nile rat kills the crocodile. This small press can destroy a kingdom.

Louis XI, King of France: Oh, come, my High Justice, don't exaggerate. What is that?

Printer: It is the first page of a new book, Your Majesty.

Louis XI, King of France: Let me see it. "On the Freedom of Thought." Who wrote it?

Printer: Pierre Gringoire.

Louis XI, King of France: Gringoire? Who is he?

Printer: A French poet, Your Majesty.

Frollo: A heretic, sire. To spread him is to communicate disease.

Louis XI, King of France: How do you know? It may be a great blessing to France if people can get books and learn to read. To me, it's a new form of expression of thought. Out there is the old form. All over France, in every city, there stand cathedrals like this one, triumphal monuments of the past. They tower over the homes of our people like mighty guardians, keeping alive the invincible faith of the Christians. Every arch, every column, every statue is a carved leaf out of our history. A book in stone, glorifying the spirit of France. The cathedrals are the handwriting of the past. The press is of our time, and I won't do anything to stop it, Frollo.

Frollo: Sire, we must break the press and hang the printer. For, between them, they will destroy our old and holy order. No, I'm not such a fool. I, for my part, will protect France from these printed books, as I will protect it from witches, sorcerers and Gypsies, the foreign race that is overrunning all of Europe.

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[Watching Esmeralda dance]

Louis XI, King of France: Doesn't she make your pulse beat faster?

The King's Physician: I'm a widower four times, sire, but I could begin all over again.

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Louis XI, King of France: Doctor, lend me half a livre.

The King's Physician: Half a livre?

Louis XI, King of France: Afraid I won't repay you?

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Gringoire: Your hands are like ice. You're not afraid are you?

Esmeralda: Not now oh Gringoire, Why did I ever come to Paris?

Gringoire: Don't cry darling

Esmeralda: I keep thinking and thinking How I came here to soften the king heart towards my people until my silly heart betrayed me for that I deserve to die.

Gringoire: You will not! I will get you free

Esmeralda: You will look out after my people when I am gone

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Frollo: The press should be destroyed and the printer hanged for blasphemy.

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Esmeralda: [to Follo] Your hand. There's the mark of the devil on it. Mother of God, don't let them hang me! Protect me! Protect me!

Frollo: Praying won't help you. You come from an evil race.

Esmeralda: You don't know anything about my people.

Frollo: Honest people don't live by witchcraft and magic.

Esmeralda: If we really had the power of magic, do you think we'd choose to be outcasts, to be poor and persecuted always? Surely we'd use it for our own benefit.

Frollo: All gypsies should be destroyed by fire and sword.

Esmeralda: You mustn't talk like that in here. The Mother of God is listening.

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Louis XI, King of France: [while being bathed by the doctor] Ouch! You're hurting me. I should have made you my chief torturer.

The King's Physician: I beg your pardon, sire. I wouldn't have to rub so hard if your Majesty would bathe more often.

Louis XI, King of France: How often would you say?

The King's Physician: Twice a year...

Louis XI, King of France: Twice a year?

The King's Physician: ...at least.

Louis XI, King of France: Hmm. Would that make me live longer?

The King's Physician: It would.

Louis XI, King of France: Good. I'm determined to live a hundred years - and more if your new elixir does what you promise.

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Louis XI, King of France: The cathedrals are the handwriting of the past. The press is of our time - and I won't do anything to stop it, Frollo.

Frollo: We must break the best and hang the principal. Between them they will destroy our old and holy order.

Louis XI, King of France: I am not such a fool.

Frollo: I for my part will protect France from these printed books as I will protect it from witches, sorcerers and gypsies - the foreign races over-running all of Europe.

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Louis XI, King of France: [Watching an acrobat trying to balance on a ball] What's he trying to do?

Procurator: He's heard a rumour that the earth is round and he's attempting to walk to the Indies - the idiot.

The King's Physician: [Interjecting] It's not round, it's flat!

Louis XI, King of France: The idiot? There are some famous geographers and mathematicians who also believe the earth is round.

The King's Physician: [Interjecting again] It's isn't round, it's flat!

Louis XI, King of France: Do you recollect that letter we had from er... what's his name... oh, Chris... Christopher Columbus? Who wrote claiming that he could by steering a Westerly course, reach the Indies?

The King's Physician: [Interjecting yet again] It's flat!

Louis XI, King of France: I'm greatly tempted to indulge the venture.

Procurator: Our country could not afford the risk of such an enterprise.

Frollo: Columbus! The man is the laughing stock of the Court of Spain.

Louis XI, King of France: Who knows? The duke may prove Ferdinand's court is the laughing stock.

The King's Physician: [interjecting for a fourth time] It's isn't round.

Louis XI, King of France: What are you mumbling about, doctor?

The King's Physician: The earth isn't round. It's flat.

Louis XI, King of France: How do you know?

The King's Physician: I've observed it in all my travels over Europe - it's flat. Everywhere it's flat!

Louis XI, King of France: Oh, let's listen to the play.

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Gypsy: [On being stopped from entering the city... ] Why do you stop us?

Soldier at Festival of Fools: Because no gypsies can enter Paris any longer without a permit. It's the new law.

Gypsy: If the others are permitted to, why can't we?

Soldier at Festival of Fools: They're Frenchmen. You're gypsies. Foreigners.

Gypsy: Foreigners! You came yesterday. We come today.

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Clopin: We will now choose the King of Fools. Africans come forth. Men. Women. The ugliest face wins the crown. Ugly faces...! Ugly faces...!

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Louis XI, King of France: The ugly is very appealing to man.

Frollo: It's a matter of taste.

Louis XI, King of France: No. It's instinct. One shrinks from the ugly and wants to look at it. There's a devilish fascination in it. We extract pleasure from horror.

Frollo: Only the mob, sire.

Louis XI, King of France: Think so? Look at our friends

[indicating Nobles and royal courtiers]

Louis XI, King of France: . The don't look exactly uninterested.

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Gringoire: [Reciting a poem during the Fools Day festivities] You rest and live, and rest again. Beware you do not live in vain.

Clopin: [Mocking and interrupting Gringoire... ] And if you eat to much you will throw it up again!

Gringoire: [as the mob breaks into raucous laughter] You stupid, ignorant drunkard. I offer you truth!

One of the mob: We don't want your truth!

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Frollo: What are you doing in Notre Dame?

Esmeralda: I'm praying.

Frollo: You can not pray here, you are a heathen.

Esmeralda: Who are you? You're not a priest. Yet you look like one.

Frollo: I am what I wish to be. Get up and leave this church. You desecrate the very stones on which you kneel.

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Court Clerk: [in the courtroom] You are accused with disturbing the peace, abducting a woman, and resisting the King's guards. What is your defense...

[he points his finger at Quasimodo]

Court Clerk: ... quick, and to the point?

Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: [at the top of his lungs] Quasimodo!

Court Clerk: So, you plead guilty?

Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: Twenty-five next month!

Court Clerk: For that you shall be *whipped*!

Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: Bell ringer of Notre Dame!

Procurator: Your Honor, the prisoner is deaf. He hears nothing.

Court Clerk: That's different.

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Clopin: [while watching the whipping of Quasimodo, Clopin tells Gringoire that he too has been whipped] Twice. Now I buy protection.

Gringoire: From Who?

Clopin: Nobility.

Gringoire: The guardians of the old and holy tradition.

Clopin: The very same. They buy it from the king, and sell it to those beneath them. It's quite alright. You see, after the war - and don't forget it lasted a hundred years - thousands of us went from door to door asking for honest work, and we were whipped for begging. The ruling class didn't say, Work or starve; they said, Starve, for you shall not work.

Gringoire: And I starved.

Clopin: Thousands did, until I organised the beggars guild.

Gringoire: Of which I am beggar number 7419.

Clopin: You needn't be ashamed. True we're not great thieves like nobles. Our robberies are petty compared to the wholesale plunder of the nation.

Gringoire: I wonder if the moral difference isn't in our favour

Clopin: Right. Some day you and I will write a book on the truth of beggary.

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