Quasi Quasimodo; The 1956 version of Quasimodo

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Gotta say the 1956 version of Quasimodo was quite a disappointment. For a version that works so hard to maintain the plot of the book it really failed with Quasimodo’s character.

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) & Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) & Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

First off this Quasimodo isn’t a Hunchback, he is a slouch-back. He stands up fairly straight. I’m not sure if was this was the director trying to make Quasimodo more human or Anthony Quinn being lazy. My guess this was the director’s decision and I don’t agree.

You can’t really have the Hunchback of Notre Dame without the Hunch. If the director wanted to humanize Quasimodo he could have done it with the make-up but I think he missed the point. The point of Quasimodo is he the most human character but he looks like a monster. Having him not have the hunch takes away a big part of his character instead of being deformed he is just ugly.  Although in the pillory scene you do see a hunch,  too bad it disappears when he puts his shirt back on.

 

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) giving flowers to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) giving flowers to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

That is not it though, Quasimodo’s personality is very watered down to point where I’m not quite sure if he has one. He makes comments about people being bad but he spends most of his time mumbling and giggling. He just comes off a childish but with zero charm or interest.

You don’t feel for him; his pain, his love, his despair, nothing. So when we get the the original ending to the book in a movie you can’t feel anything because you have sent two hours not feeling anything for the emotional core of the movie.

 

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) laying down next to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) laying down next to Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The movie tries to make you feel for Quasimodo but due the performance you really can’t connect with this Quasimodo and that does weaken the second half of the movie. It’s like all the pieces are there to make an good Quasimodo but they don’t connect right and we’re left with a  half-form Quasimodo.

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) on the Pillory 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) on the Pillory 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The only good thing to come from this Quasimodo is after Esmeralda gives him water he says ‘beautiful” or “Belle” and that inspired one of the greatest Hunchback songs ever.

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) with a cat, 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) with a cat, 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Also why is Quasimodo holding a cat? What’s up with Hunchback versions instering cats into shots?

Next 1956 Article – Frollo

Frollo (Alain Cuny),  1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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11 comments on “Quasi Quasimodo; The 1956 version of Quasimodo

  1. Esme on said:

    That could be why it’ll have so much CGI. Brolin could be planning the first all cat adaptation! And nothing is “jazzier” than CGI cats. LOL!

  2. AnaykhOntheDoor on said:

    Who among us hasn’t watched a particular “Hunchback” scene and thought, “This is good, but it would be better with some cats?” When Josh Brolin said the new movie will use CGI, I hope he meant it will have lots of CGI cats. (Jazzy CGI cats.)

    • AnaykhOntheDoor on said:

      Sorry to keep harping on this, but here’s yet another example of the cat thing: a children’s book based on the Disney characters called “Quasimodo’s New Friend,” featuring Quasi befriending a tiny adorable kitten as the gargoyles look on.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Disneys-The-Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame-Quasimodos-New-Friend-/190792465834?pt=US_Childrens_Books&hash=item2c6c1dfdaa

  3. Bell-Ringer of Notre Dame on said:

    I also was really disappointed with this Quasimodo, particularly in the makeup. I mean look at the ones that came before Quin. Lon Chaney had curly hair, broken teeth and one eye blinded by a wart. Charles Laughton had an eye lowered down, his nose seemed buldgous, very distorted teeth, and other little details leading to a genuinely unsettling appearence. All Quin had was an eye shaped strangley. Fail

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