The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.
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.
- Jul 21, 2002