• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:February 18, 2022

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Patsy Ruth Miller and Lon Chaney. Photo: Universal

Paris, 1482; the hunchbacked bell-ringer (Lon Chaney) of Notre Dame is talked into kidnapping a beautiful gypsy girl (Patsy Ruth Miller), but sheā€™s rescued by a captain (Norman Kerry); his decision to marry her is startling to many peopleā€¦ One of the earliest adaptations of Victor Hugoā€™s novel became a blockbuster and retains its Gothic romanticism, with impressive production design that recreates medieval Paris and its majestic cathedral. After playing hunchbacked in another movie, Chaney reunited with the director and has been transformed into an off-putting yet touching figure; Miller is also good as Esmeralda. There are a few changes to the story, but the ending maintains its tragic tone.

1923-U.S. Silent. 93 min. B/W. Produced byĀ Carl Laemmle, Irving Thalberg. Directed byĀ Wallace Worsley. Screenplay: Edward T. Lowe, Jr., Perley Poore Sheehan. Novel: Victor Hugo. Art Direction: Elmer Sheeley, Sidney Ullman. Cast: Lon Chaney (Quasimodo), Patsy Ruth Miller (Esmeralda), Ernest Torrence (Clopin), Tully Marshall, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester.

Trivia: Remade in 1939, 1956 and as an animated film in 1996.

Last word: “The idea of doing the picture was an old one of mine and I had studied Quasimodo until I knew him like a brother, knew every ghoulish impulse of his heart and all the inarticulate miseries of his soul. Quasimodo and I lived together ā€“ until we became one. At least so it has since seemed to me. When I played him, I forgot my own identity completely and for the time being lived and suffered with the Hunchback of Notre Dame.ā€ (Chaney, Flicker Alley)



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