Too Sexy for the Role; The 1956 Esmeralda

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Without a doubt  this is Esmeralda’s movie. This is made very clear by her 3 minute long dance scene that only cuts away to Frollo staring at her but you can still see her in a reflection. Many consider the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame Esmeralda to one of the best Esmeraldas.  Many feel she has the right look, grace and free-spirited nature that Esmeralda should have. I personally have a few issues with this version of Esmeralda.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

First off, I feel like I’m being lied to with this Esmeralda.What she says and how she act feel in opposition to how she looks and her mannerisms.  I feel like this Esmeralda was written to be played by a young actress but then Gina Lollobridga was cast and the sensuality was turn up. Lollobridga reads too mature and sultry but then she tries to act innocence and carefree. I don’t believe her when she says that she “has never known men before.” I don’t buy it.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) with Phoebus (Jean Danet), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) with Phoebus (Jean Danet), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Although I admit, my issue with Esmeralda’s duality could be because of her costume. Color aside, her two main costumes age her. I will get to costumes in a later post  so I won’t so into too much detail but I feel the veil, the very define corset waistline and the 1950’s cat eye age her. She looks far more believable as a young women when she in the simple prisoner shift at the end of the movie.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Since Esmeralda is the main focus of this move you would think that they dynamic between Esmeralda and Frollo would be really strong but Esmeralda and Frollo don’t really have many interactions with each other in this movie.  Esmeralda admits that she afraid of him but she seems to be more uncomfortable around him which robs the would-be drama from their interactions. It fact there scene are a pretty dull.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) with Phoebus (Jean Danet), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) with Phoebus (Jean Danet), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

I think the dance scene sums up her character in this movie perfectly. She is  aloof, mysterious,  very sensual and slightly exuberant. I mean her personality is there I’m just not sure if it’s the costume, Lollobridga mannerism or her natural sex appeal that holds back this Esmeralda as being a great depiction of the character.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Next 1956 Article – Quasimodo

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo

 

This entry was posted in 1956 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

HTML tags are not allowed.

Fandango - Movie Tickets Online