Pretty much the 1982 version follows the 1939 model of how to tell this story. However the 1982 version doesn’t dive into social commentary the same way. The blight of Gypsies is not an issue and Esmeralda doesn’t concern herself social inequality. Esmeralda’s main concerns are not getting arrested, marrying Phoebus and keeping Frollo off of her.
Frollo is also different than his 1939 incarnation. For one thing, in the 1982 version he is a priest and has no younger brother. Also he is a little more forward, instead of staring at her he basically tries to get with Esmeralda in the first 20 minutes. He went right to lust. But this version has a decent jail scene so point in its favor. Although I would point out that having Frollo bring Esmeralda into Notre Dame after she gets arrested for dancing and then trying to seduce her robs a bit from the jail scene when Esmeralda asks why he hates her. Esmeralda in the book was scared of Frollo and Frollo’s interaction with her was very limited to no existent. In this movie he is not really acting hateful toward Esmeralda. He acting confused and desperate but he was acting fairly nice toward till he tried touch her and she ran off. So Esmerald questioning him was tad on the unnecessary side.
Since the social concerns are not presence in this movie Gringoire has little else to do but moon over Esmeralda, although like in 1939 version he and Esmeralda do fall in love and leave together at the end.
Speaking of the end, Quasimodo kills Frollo in self- defense by impaling him on a nail. This…..this ……is not cool movie. While I get that the self-defense angle, impaling Frollo on a nail is A) stupid and anti-climactic and B) having Frollo fall from Notre Dame is a powerful metaphor. My guess the reason why Frollo dies in this manner is the budget but still shame.
Quasimodo is pretty much the same from 1939 version, Hopkins plays him very sympathetic but it works.
Clopin is not fun in this version, He is very conniving. He is not to concern about anything other than survival.
Phoebus is depicted as huge womanizing jerk who is married in this version. Another strange addition to this version is Frollo offering to buy Esmeralda from Gringoire.
This version plays the story out pretty conventionally. It doesn’t make too many big annoying changes to the plot. The changes they make are small and mostly the impact the characters.
So let’s dive deeper into those characters, let’s start with the heart and soul of the movie; FrolloFollow thehunchblog