Denis Lavant in Tuvalu as Anton picture image

Denis Lavant in Tuvalu as Anton

I Saw Tuvalu on a whim and though it was an odd movie but I enjoyed it. Who wouldn’t like a movie that is german expressionism revival about a love triangle sets in a collapsing bathhouse and that is a practically silent film. No seriously as odd as this film is it’s very enjoyable but one thing that struck me while watching it was Denis Lavant, who played the lead. Watching him in Tuvalu convinced me that he would make the perfect Quasimodo.

Denis Lavant picture image

Denis Lavant

Why would he make a perfect Quasimodo? First Lavant has made career on his unique face. A unique face is a plus for a Quasimodo. He’s not just some pretty-boy that put a heap of make-up on. Lavant’s natural roughness would add to Quasimodo’s pathos and make it feel more natural.  Second he has the ability to act without speaking which I think a person playing Quasimodo should have given that Quasimodo is a psychically demanding role.

Denis Lavant picture image

Denis Lavant

In my mind Denis Lavant was born to play Quasimodo. Watch Tuvalu or another one of Denis Lavant’s movies and see if you agree. I recommend watching Tuvalu though to really get a understanding of Lavant’s potent as Quasimodo.

As another possible Frollo choice for a movie version may I present Iain Glen.

Iain Glen picture image

Iain Glen

Iain Glen has been in many British shows and movies and has done stage work. The popular  show he has been in include but are not limited to MI-5 (season 9 as Vaughan Edwards), Doctor Who  (Season 5 as Octavian), Game of Throne (as Ser Jorah Mormont) and Downton Abbey (Season 2 as Sir Richard Carlisle).

Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones picture image

Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones

Now I have no shame in saying that I’m a fan of Downton Abbey and his role as the as the obsessive and possessive Richard Carlisle indicated to me that he would make a great Frollo. And when I watch Wives and Daughters (he plays Mr. Preston another character who is obsessively in love) it solidify the idea that he would make an awesome Frollo. Also based on his performance in Game of Thrones where he plays a Knight who is protective and secret in love with a much younger girl I really believe he would make an ideal Frollo.

Iain Glen as Sir Richard Carlisle from Downton Abbey picture image

Iain Glen as Sir Richard Carlisle from Downton Abbey

Plus he has the right look and his voice has a low, cold and threatening vibe. Another reason to cast him is like Frollo he has a sex appeal but it’s not because he’s conventionally attractive. He is defiantly a top pick for Frollo (in my mind).

Iain Glen as Vaughn Edwards from MI-5 picture image

Iain Glen as Vaughn Edwards from MI-5

Tell me what you think would Iain Glen make a good Frollo?

Back in November I started a series  of for hypothetical casting for Hunchback musicals or movie.

Erika Marozsan picture image

Erika Marozsan

So for an Esmeralda in a movie, I think Hugarian actress Erika Marozsan would make a good Esmeralda. She has the right look for the role  and she is a decent actress. Though in truth I’ve only seen her in one movie, Gloomy Sunday, but she was great in it(it’s one of my favorites). They only fault that she has is that she a little old for the role, as Esmeralda should be played by someone who can pass for 16 years old, but that’s if you want to adhere closely with the book and let’s face what Hunchback adapation follows the book very closely.

Erika Marozsan in Gloomy Sunday picture image

Erika Marozsan in Gloomy Sunday

Erika Marozsan picture image

Erika Marozsan

Erika Marozsan in Gloomy Sunday picture image

Erika Marozsan in Gloomy Sunday

So I going to start periodically posting hypothetical casting choices for either movies or musicals.

So First off, since there is a new english language cast of Notre Dame de Paris  let’s start there.

The thing about the English version of Notre Dame de Paris is that there are a lot of awkward weird lines and just because someone is a good singer it doesn’t mean that these lines can be delivered naturally. There are very few people in this world that can sing song with truly weird lyrics and sound serious and/or sincere. One singer who can do this well for example is the late Dio, who sang Holy Diver . Now I say in my preface that people could living or dead however this post is not about Dio, it actually about another person who is capable of singing very weird lyrics and makes them seem natural and yet would make well cast in Notre Dame de Paris and that person is David Byrne. David Byrne was the lead singer of the Talking Heads but left to have a solo career.

David Byrne picture image

David Byrne

I only recently became of fan David Byrne when I was introduced to him for potential AMV (anime music video) ideas (Shameless plug- I worked on an amv using  a David Byrne song to Mononoke TV click here to watch, and leave a comment if you like ^_~, the amv is called Dark Interlude).

Lot of his songs are strange out of the ones I have heard I think U.B. Jesus and Speechless are the weirdest (lyrically). So given that he is a great singer who can sing some crazy lines and make them seem normal, I’d cast him as Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris, (He even looks a bit like Daniel Lavoie (the original Frollo))

Maureen O'Hara and Anthony Quinn in Only the Lonely  picture image

Maureen O'Hara and Anthony Quinn in Only the Lonely

A couple of days ago I decided to watch Only the Lonely (Great movie by the way) which stars Maureen O’Hara who play Esmeralda in the 1939 verion of Hunchback of Notre Dame. The movie also had in Anthony Quinn who play Quasimodo in the 1956 french version of Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda

Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Only the Lonely Quinn’s character is in love with Maureen’s character. It was just great to see two Hunchback alums in a movie. As it turns out O’Hara and Quinn were in five other movies together. The Magnificent Matador , Against all Flags, Sinbad the Sailor , Buffalo Bill, and The Black Swan.

Kind of makes you wonder what it would have been like in they played opposite in Hunchback of Notre Dame.

It can be hard to judge acting from a film that is decades old from the vantage point of the modern era.  The 1930’s had a very different style of acting and therefore different criteria for what was consider good and bad. So with that in mind I’m going to look at the acting from the 1939 version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

I would say the acting is good across the board. No one hams it’s up nor under acts. The actors have  grasp of how their characters are suppose to behave in the film.  They even muddle through some of the more awkward dialogue far better than actor’s of today.

 

Esmeralda looking at the Virgin Mary (Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda looking at the Virgin Mary (Maureen O’Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara) – This was O’Hara’s American debut and was still fairly new to film but not to acting in general. Despite looking very Irish and not very Gypsyesque, she does well in the role. She plays up concern for her people but she demonstrate a coy side. I don’t think the role is particularly demanding on the acting front nor do I think it’s the best performance of her long career but it was a great debut for her for American audiences. I will give her credit, she did her own stunts (not just in this film but all her films). The stunts in this film were when Quasimodo swung down to rescue her from the gallows and where he lifted her over his head claiming “sanctuary”. The lift was the most dangerous of the two stunts.  She and the stunt man where about 40 forty feet off the ground which was cobblestone and without a safety net.

 

Quasimodo declares SANCTUARY for Esmeralda (Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo declares SANCTUARY for Esmeralda (Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

Quasimodo is crowned King of Fools (Charles Laughton) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo is crowned King of Fools (Charles Laughton) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo(Charles Laughton) – Laughton excels in the role. Quasimodo is the most technically and psychically demanding role in the film. Laughton shines though all the make-up. He doesn’t make Quasimodo morose or monstrous instead he plays the role more pitiable and human. I do enjoy with mannerism especially during his brief reign as King of Fools and after his abdication and ringing the bells with his feet.

 

 

 

 

Jehan Frollo 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame Sir Cedric Hardwicke picture image

Jehan Frollo 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Jehan Frollo(Sir Cedric Hardwicke) –  Hardwicke’s plays Frollo with a restraint manner and never teeters into the fevered obsession that the book Frollo exhibited in the book. However other Frollos  have played him in this manner so it’s not a huge deal plus Hardwicke’s Frollo makes you forget that aspect of Frollo’s personality. Despite this restraint there are scenes where you can feel craziness behind the facade of control. Like any second he could lose that control and become raving mad and it would still feel in character.

 

Jehan Frollo 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame Sir Cedric Hardwicke picture image

Jehan Frollo, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame Sir Cedric Hardwicke

 

Pillory Scene cutaway Gringoire and Clopin (Edmond O'Brien, Thomas Mitchell) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gringoire and Clopin (Edmond O’Brien, Thomas Mitchell) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

The other actors Edmond O’Brien, Harry Davenport, Thomas Mitchell, Alan Marshal and Walter Hampden are all good in their respective role and in the case of O’Brien made a great film debut.

 

 

 

 

The acting is good and there not too much I can really say other than what I’ve already said without getting into 30’s acting conventions.

Next time Staging