Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Charles Laughton
Director: William Dieterle Cast: Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
, Cedric Hardwicke
Cedric Hardwicke
, Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
William Dieterle

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Overview

Few will argue with the contention that RKO Radio's 1939 adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the best of the many screen versions of the Hugo classic. We say this even allowing for certain liberties taken with the source material-liberties calculated by scenarists Sonya Levien and Bruno Frank to draw parallels between 15th century Paris and 20th century Europe. Thus, Claude Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke), the villain of the piece, is no longer merely a religious hypocrite unable to control his own carnal desires. Instead, Frollo is a bush-league Hitler, warning that the invention of the printing press is dangerous in that it will encourage the rabble to think for themselves, and plotting the persecution and destruction of the "undesirable" gypsies. In the same vein, Gringoire the Poet (Edmond O'Brien in his film debut) has been transformed into an agit-prop "Group Theatre" activist, bent on bringing the unvarnished truth to the ignorant Parisians. Many of Hugo's subplots have been dispensed with, the better to concentrate on the grotesquely deformed Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and his puppylike loyalty towards imperiled gypsy dancer Esmerelda (Maureen O'Hara, in her first American film appearance). The schism between the haves and have-nots in the walled city of Paris is illustrated in broad, visually dynamic strokes by director William Dieterle.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/09/2015
UPC: 0883929447527
Original Release: 1939
Source: Turner Classic Movie
Time: 1:57:00
Sales rank: 13,267

Special Features

Interview with Maureen O'Hara; Academy Award nominated short Drunk Driving; The Lone Stranger and Porky cartoon; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Laughton Quasimodo
Cedric Hardwicke Dom Claude Frollo
Maureen O'Hara Esmeralda
Thomas Mitchell Clopin
Edmond O'Brien Pierre Gringoire
Walter Hampden Archbishop
Alan Marshal Phoebus de Chateaupers
Harry Davenport Louis XI
Katherine Alexander Madame De Lys
George Zucco Procurator
Fritz Leiber Old Nobleman
Etienne Girardot The King's Physician
Helene Whitney Fleur De Lys
Minna Gombell Queen of Beggars
Arthur Hohl Olivier
Rod La Rocque Phillipo
Spencer Charters Court Clerk
Curt Bois Actor
Rondo Hatton Actor
George Tobias Beggar

Technical Credits
William Dieterle Director
Joseph H. August Cinematographer
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Bruno Frank Screenwriter
Willaim Hamilton Editor
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Van Nest Polglase Art Director
John Stoll Production Designer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Robert Wise Editor

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