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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wallace Worsley Jr., son of the film's director, said that many of the extras for the massive crowd scenes were recruited in downtown Los Angeles for $1.00 a night and meals. Among them, he said, were a good number of prostitutes, who did a "considerable sideline business" on the sets. Universal also hired 50 Pinkerton detectives and put them among the crowd, and their job was to catch pickpockets and various other thieves among the extras. See more »
The hair on the back of the Hunchback's hands appears early in the film and later disappears. See more »
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 »
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 »
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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