Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

There are several film versions of Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and this one is the 1923 silent starring Lon Chaney, Sr.

Silent Film Sources begins their review with this caution: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a stilted spectacle that fails to live up to its legend" but adds one note of understanding: "Hunchback has few peers for lavish spectacle in the early Twenties (basically just Robin Hood, Orphans of the Storm and The Ten Commandments). It's easy to see what the public found so fascinating."

1000 Misspent Hours has a review that details the plot and describes some other aspects of the film and concludes:
this version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame remains the one to see. It has all the high-dollar production value of the 1939 version, an even hotter Esmeralda, and a far more thematically honest spin on the basic story. Plus, it has Lon Chaney in one of his best roles, which ought to be enough all by itself.
TCM has some information.

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