The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)

PG   |    |  Drama, History

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956) Poster

The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo.



  • Gina Lollobrigida in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
  • Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
  • Anthony Quinn in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
  • Gina Lollobrigida Circa 1955
  • Gina Lollobrigida in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)
  • Gina Lollobrigida in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956)

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14 December 2012 | ma-cortes
| French version based on popular novel by Victor Hugo in which a hunchback provides sanctuary to a gorgeous gypsy
Slow and sometimes boring retelling of the Victor Hugo novel that packs an all-star-cast and spectacular scenes . The timeless tale of the seductive gypsy Esmeralda and the tortured hunchback Quasimodo with Anthony Quin in a overacting and tragic performance along with bombshell Gina Lollobrigida who displays a little credible interpretation . It is set in fifteenth century Paris, 1482 . Today is the festival of the fools, taking place like each year in the square outside Cathedral Notre Dame . Among jugglers and other entertainers is Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida ,this was the first time she spoke her lines in French with a strong Italian accent) and her goat (co-female star of the film with Gina Lollobrigida, was insured for two million francs) . From up in a tower of the cathedral, Frollo (Alain Cuny stealing the movie as an old cleric) , an alchemist and archdeacon , gazes at her lustfully . The hot-blooded young gypsy is accused by Church officials of being witch and the deformed Parisian bellringer provides her sanctuary . The freakish hunchback named Quasimodo , falls in love with the young gypsy queen, Esmeralda, who in turn is in love with Phoebus, a gentleman soldier and a rogue with the ladies . Unknown to him, his love is dangerous, because Frollo has lustful obsession for Esmeralda and is willing to kill the handsome soldier to possess her. But the hunchback will tolerate no harm coming to her , not even if it comes from his own master . Meanwhile , the gypsy king plots to foment a peasant revolt, which eventually leads to the peasants storming the Cathedral of Notre Dame .

This French of Victor Hugo's ever popular novel with classical characters such as an appropriately gypsy and a deformed bell ringer . Best French retelling infused with sadness , sweep , intense drama , and an attempt at capturing a degree of spirited Hugoesque detail . Good performance from Anthony Quinn , famous for his contortions and expressive gestures via make-up . Quinn gives a textured , pre-Zorba , the Greek interpretation of Quasimodo , the Hunchback in Hugo's eponymous novel ; however , he displays a lot of gesticulation . Mediocre acting by Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda, a sensuous gypsy who performs a bewitching dance in front of delighted spectators. Great performances all around at charge of a good support cast . Shot simultaneously in French and English-speaking version, but it looks as if the English one was not used . The scene of Quasimodo's coronation was shot twice for each version of the film. For the original French-language version, he is crowned 'Pope of Fools', as in the novel, and wears a mock Papal tiara , for the English-language version, he is crowned 'King of Fools', and wears a royal crown ; this was because the American Hays Code forbade mocking of the clergy . This properly melodramatic flick packs a colorful cinematography filmed entirely in France in Cinemascope by Michel Kelber ; being necessary a right remastering . The sweeping musical score was provided by the classic Georges Auric . The motion picture was professionally directed by Jean Delannoy , but with no originality .

This is a remake of several earlier films , including the followings : 1923 silent vintage retelling by Wallace Wolsey with Lon Chaney Sr ; classic version by William Dieterle (1939) with Maureen O'Hara , Charles Laughton , Edmond O'Brien and Cedric Hardwicke . And subsequently realized for TV as 1982 rendition with Anthony Hopkins , Derek Jacobi and Lesley-Anne Down and 1998 by Peter Medak with Salma Hayek and Mandy Patinkin . Finally , Walt Disney cartoon recounting by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale with voices by Tom Hulce , Demi Moore and Kevin Kline , it was followed by another Disney sequel .

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