The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Lon Chaney
Director: Wallace Worsley Sr. Cast: Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney
, Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence
, Patsy Ruth Miller
Patsy Ruth Miller
Wallace Worsley Sr.

DVD (Restored)

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This second film version of the Victor Hugo novel Notre Dame de Paris (the first was a Theda Bara vehicle, The Dancer of Paris) was a super-duper-spectacular as only Hollywood of the 1920s could make them, but it is never so large that it dwarfs the contribution of its star, Lon Chaney. As the hunchbacked bellringer Quasimodo, Chaney adorned himself with a special device that made his cheeks jut out grotesquely; a contact lens that blanked out one of his eyes; and, most painfully, a huge rubber hump covered with coarse animal fur and weighing anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds. While Quasimodo is but one of many interconnecting characters in the original Hugo novel, he dominates the narrative of this expensive Universal production. Set in the walled city of Paris in the 16th century, the story is set in motion when the evil Jehan (Brandon Hurst), brother of saintly Notre Dame archdeacon Dom Claude (Nigel De Brulier), orders the dog-like Quasimodo to attempt to kidnap gypsy girl Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller). Quasimodo is captured and flogged for his crime, whereupon Esmeralda shows him kindness by offering him water. He reciprocates when Esmeralda, framed on a murder charge by the obsessed Jehan (if he can't have her, no one can), is sentenced to be hanged. Quasimodo grabs a rope and swings down from the towers of Notre Dame, rescues Esmeralda from the gallows, and carries her into the church, shouting "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" Through a series of convoluted plot twists, Clopin (Ernest Torrence), the king of beggars, leads an army of the Parisian poor to storm the gates of the cathedral and reclaim Esmeralda. Quasimodo defends both the girl and his church by tossing heavy objects and pouring molten lead upon the invaders. This climactic scene was filmed at night, requiring the services of literally every arc light in Hollywood. The Notre Dame set (which wasn't quite as large in real life as it seems on screen) remained standing on the Universal back lot for years after this film was completed, doing background service in the 1925 Lon Chaney starrer The Phantom of the Opera. With Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lon Chaney rose from mere leading player to major star, which led him to even greater success at MGM, where his reputation as "the man of a thousand faces" really got a workout. The story would be remade by in 1939 with Charles Laughton, in 1955 with Anthony Quinn, in 1982 with Anthony Hopkins, and again in 1996 as a sanitized Disney animated musical.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/29/2017
UPC: 0889290242631
Original Release: 1923
Source: Film Detective
Time: 2:13:00
Sales rank: 10,230

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lon Chaney Quasimodo
Ernest Torrence Clopin
Patsy Ruth Miller Esmeralda
Norman Kerry Phoebus de Chateaupers
Kate Lester Mme. De Gondelaurier
Raymond Hatton Gringoire
Brandon Hurst Jehan
Tully Marshall Louis XI
Nigel de Brulier Dom Claude
Harry Van Meter Mons. Neufchatel
Gladys Brockwell Godule
Eulalie Jensen Marie
Winifred Bryson Fleur de Lys
Harry DeVere Actor
Cesare Gravina Actor
Jay Hunt Actor
Gladys Johnston Actor
George MacQuarrie Actor
William Parke Josephus
Jane Sherman Actor
Helen Broneau Uncredited
Nick De Ruiz Mons. le Torteru
Roy Laidlaw Charmolou
W. Ray Meyers Charmolou's Assistant
John Cossar Justice of the Court
Edwin Wallock King's Chamberlain

Technical Credits
Wallace Worsley Director
Edward Curtis Editor
Edward A. Curtiss Editor
Tony Kornman Cinematographer
Carl Laemmle Producer
Edward T. Lowe Screenwriter
Robert Newhard Cinematographer
Maurice Pivar Editor
Percy Poore Sheehan Screenwriter
E.E. Sheeley Art Director
Sydney Sigerman Editor
John Stoll Production Designer
Irving G. Thalberg Producer
S. Uliman Art Director

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