The Hunchback of Notre Dame Screen 2 articles

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

1939

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Poster
  • Resembling a horribly deformed baby, [Laughton's] Quasimodo is both amusing and terrifying — never more than when he seeks to entertain Esmeralda by childishly ringing the cathedral bells. Its timeless monster aside, the 1939 “Hunchback” is arguably topical and even didactic.

  • The full-on Middle Ages re-creation (via set design, seamless process work, and massive scope) evokes Goya and Arthur Rackham like no other Hollywood film ever did, while the necessary abridgment of Hugo doesn't skimp on the percolation of civil rage, the brutality of the state, or the repression of lust (personified by Cedric Hardwicke's evil deacon, unable to take his eyes off O'Hara's breasts) that ignites the entire story.