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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)

Notre-Dame de Paris (original title)
The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.

Director:

Jean Delannoy

Writers:

Victor Hugo (novel), Jean Aurenche (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gina Lollobrigida ... Esmeralda
Anthony Quinn ... Quasimodo
Jean Danet Jean Danet ... Phoebus de Chateaupers
Alain Cuny ... Claude Frollo
Valentine Tessier Valentine Tessier ... Aloyse de Gondelaurier
Danielle Dumont Danielle Dumont ... Fleur de Lys
Jean Tissier Jean Tissier ... Louis XI
Maurice Sarfati Maurice Sarfati ... Jehan Frollo
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... Maitre Charmolue
Jacques Dufilho Jacques Dufilho ... Guillaume Rousseau
Roger Blin Roger Blin ... Mathias Hungadi
Marianne Oswald Marianne Oswald ... La Falourdel
Damia Damia ... The Beggar
Roland Bailly Roland Bailly ... The Hangman
Robert Lombard Robert Lombard ... Jacques Coppenole
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Storyline

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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gypsy | ugly | lonely | pariah | cathedral | See All (50) »

Taglines:

The World's Supreme Shocker!

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence and sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunchback of Paris See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,905,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jean Delannoy wanted Jose Ferrer as his Quasimodo. See more »

Quotes

Esmeralda: [dying] Life is wonderful.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The French-language credits for this film say that it was shot in Eastmancolor; the English-language prints say that it was made in Technicolor. See more »

Connections

Version of Esmeralda (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Danza di Esmeralda
(uncredited)
Performed by Gina Lollobrigida
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not bad at all
21 July 2002 | by danpatter2002See all my reviews

This version of the Hugo novel is more faithful in both tone and plot than is the earlier Charles Laughton version. That said, it's not nearly as much fun.

La Lollo is quite fetching and earnest as Esmeralda and gives an effective, if slightly bosom-heaving, performance. Quinn, with his simian features accented by makeup, is a good Hunchback. He doesn't milk the role for pathos, and let's the viewer see several sides to Quasimodo. Alain Cuny is dark and brooding as Frollo, but he doesn't register as vividly as Cedric Hardwick in the earlier version.

Then there's some pretty bad acting from others in cast, but the script is pretty flat and misses some good opportunities. In the earlier version, Laughton (his double, actually) swings across the plaza, scoops up Esmeralda (the gorgeous Maureen O'Hara) and swings back into the church. Quinn just shinnies down a rope and yanks Lollo into the church. More probable, perhaps, but not so exciting.

It's a gorgeous, colorful widescreen epic, nicely served by the DVD release. It's not a sentimental movie; neither is the novel. And it's worth a kind look.


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