The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Special Features

Mastered in high definition from an original multi-tinted print; New symphonic score compiled by Donald Hunsberger, adapted and conducted by Robert Israel. Recorded in Europe in digital stereo; Insert essay and optional audio essay through the film, both by Michael F. Blake, author of two books on Lon Chaney; Facsimile reproduction of 20-page original souvenir program; Gallery of original 3-D stills (3-D viewing glasses are included with this DVD); Extensive gallery of 2-D stills, including production shots, scenes and advertising materials; Excerpt from ALAS and ALACK, a 1913 Universal film in which Lon Chaney plays two roles - one of them a hunchback; Behind-the-scenes footage of Lon Chaney out of makeup on the Hunchback set
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2007
  • UPC: 014381304626
  • Original Release: 1923
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Time: 1:57:00
  • Format: DVD

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 de Vere
Cesare Gravina
Jay Hunt
Gladys Johnston
George MacQuarrie
William Parke Sr. Josephus
Jane Sherman
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 Sr. Director
Edward Curtis Editor
Edward A. Curtiss Editor
Tony Kornman Cinematographer
Carl Laemmle Sr. 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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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hunchback of Notre Dame
1. Main Title; Notre Dame, the Cathedral Church of Paris [3:14]
2. Quasimodo [2:03]
3. His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XI [:56]
4. Clopin, the King of the Beggars [:54]
5. Dom Claude, the Saintly Arch-Deacon [:49]
6. The Arch-Deacon's Brother, Jehan [3:36]
7. Esmeralda, Child of Mystery [:21]
8. Marie, Queen of the Gypsies [3:01]
9. The Festival [2:34]
10. Phoebus de Chateaupers [2:19]
11. The Home of Madame de Gondelaurier [4:42]
12. Lonely Streets & the Court of Miracles [14:27]
13. His First Taste of the King's Justice [6:47]
14. Madame de Gondelaurier's Ball [11:58]
15. The Letter [6:01]
16. Angelus [6:20]
17. Again the King's Justice [12:08]
18. The Toll of the Death-Knell [5:34]
19. Sanctuary! [9:04]
20. Clopin's Call to Arms [15:52]
21. The Final Toll [3:39]
22. End Credit [:43]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hunchback of Notre Dame
   Feature Start
   Scene Selections
   Audio Essay by Author Michael F. Blake: On
   Audio Essay by Author Michael F. Blake: Off
   Special Features
      Lon Chaney on the Set (Silent)
      A Film Excerpt: Alas and Alack
      Gallery of 3-D Stills
      Gallery of Production Shots and Advertising Material
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