Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

In the 1997 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame or very simple called The Hunchback, there is a scene about 45 minutes in the movie where Esmeralda and Frollo meet. It a combination a few different scenes, we have Esmeralda’s prayer, the Frollo stares scene al la 1939 and Frollo’s confession.

In the scene Esmeralda prays outside Notre Dame asking forgiveness for Quasimodo’s torture. Frollo is in a cart next to her and through the fabric he confesses his feeling. Esmeralda lingers and hears this and she draws her knife and looks into the cart only to have Frollo around the other side. The scene ends with Esmeralda seeing death in his palm which I guess he talk as sign that he should go kill someone because that is the next thing he does, ah plots you seldom ever make sense.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Again the this scene isn’t like scary but there is a creepy tone to this scene. It has good mood and atmosphere. It also helps that Frollo looks like Nosferatu. Really when you think about it this scene is like if the kidnap attempt scene from 1939 version and Hellfire had a baby.

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Short answer, yes! As of now there have been two Hunchback movies that seemingly have never got their footing one being from Max Ryan that had a full cast list and the other was from Josh Brolin who just had the director attached. The real question is why should they make a new version?

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo,

Hollywood technically hasn’t made a Hunchback movie since 1939. Disney of course made their version 1996, but Disney is a little separate from Hollywood. The other versions were from France, (1956, and 1999) and the other versions were TV movies (1977, 1982, and 1997.) So there has not been a designated Hollywood Hunchback in  nearly 80 years.

Quasimodo (Charles Laughton) alone at the end 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo Charles Laughton, 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

So yeah there should a new adaptation for a more modern audience. But more than that, there are more reasons than just timeframe.  Pending on the type of the movie that the producers go for, Hunchback could be pure oscar bait. For instant it’s historical-based story with a high  pretension factor. Second make-up, one can get crazy with the Quasimodo’s make-up and people love the trope of the ugly dude with the beautiful soul and I think people on the internet eat that shit up. There also the real-life angle they could make with the Hunchback worker. Oscars LOVE movies based on true stories.

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

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

Also adding to the oscar bait factor, the academy loves itself and since it made up of mostly of actors they like movies about actors. Now there isn’t actors so much in Hunchback but Gringoire is a playwright and Esmeralda is a dancer so they are technically part of the larger industry.

Sets of the 1982 Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Sets of the 1982 Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

They could also go other genre routes, like re-working the story to be like a super-hero movie. Super-hero movies are super popular though they have been waning in recent years. But Quasimodo fits a super-hero type, so it could work.

Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quaismodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quaismodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

There is also the chance, albeit not a super strong one, of Disney doing a live-action adaptation of the Disney version.  This seems to a major trend with Disney right now.  I could see this happening more than an super-hero version or a pure oscar bait.

Josh Brolin Interview for Men in Black picture image

Josh Brolin Interview for Men in Black

I will say that I have no idea what Brolin version was trying to do but I would say given Brolin and the director it might have been a super-hero variety.  I couldn’t even guess on Max Ryan’s version.

But yeah, Hollywood make a new version. What kind of Hunchback version would you like to see?

(Post Script – Max’s Ryan’s movie is a going ahead as well as an  Esmeralda movie in the works)

 

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Despite being a sort of remake of the 1939 version, the 1997 version handles the wedding scene of Esmeralda and Gringoire VERY differently. It is sort of like the 1939 movie but only at its most basic core.

Gringoire wanders into the Court of Miracles, he’s almost hanged, Esmeralda saves him and they are married. However no jug is broken. Not breaking the jug is not a deal breaker per say but it is a weird subtraction since that was the name of the chapter but Gringoire does faint.

The wedding night doesn’t occur either like it does in the book. Instead it happens the next day as Gringoire is eating some of Esmeralda’s home-cooking. What is interesting is that during the wedding night scene in the book and  in the 1939 version, Gringoire tries to seduce Esmeralda. When she rejects him, Gringoire then says he’s cool with being friends and living like brother and sister. In this version he goes straight for accepting that  even though Esmeralda never rejects. In fact Esmeralda is more in to him in this version than other version. This is easier to accept in this version since Phoebus is a non-entity.

In fact it’s Esmeralda who is coming on to him with caressing him as she teaches him how to juggle and them kisses him because she wanted to.

So while the 97 has some basic similarities to the 1939 version, it is quite different. It’s just weird that they don’t have the jug and that Gringoire is cool with relationship that Esmeralda typically set-ups in other versions only to Esmeralda put the moves on him and never reject him at all.

1997 Cinderella picture image

1997 Cinderella

When the 1997 version of Cinderella came out, it was like the shit at my school, granted I hated that school and pretty much everyone who went there with every single fiber of my being but I recalled liking it this big Budget Disney made for TV movie that was also a remake, geeze long sentence. This version is originally by Rogers and Hammerstein and was made for television as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews back in 1957 which was a live television special. It was also remade again in 1965 staring Lesley-Ann Warren.

This version was produced by the Late and Great Whitney Houston. Originally she was going to play Cinderella but deemed herself to old for the role and gave the role to Brandy. Brandy then insisted that Houston play the Fairy Godmother.

Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as The Fairy Godmother 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as The Fairy Godmother

So how does this version differ from every other version of Cinderella? Well Cinderella and the Prince, in disguise, meet and form an attraction prior to the ball. The Prince also has a name; Christopher Rupert Windermere Vladimir Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman Gregory James, to be exact, geeze long name. Cinderella tells him that she would rather be treated with respect than being treated like a princess. They also bond over feeling trapped in their lives. It’s both refreshing and expected that they would bond over something like that. Let’s see what else? The stepmother isn’t a fan of love or dwelling in the past. Also they don’t seem so bad off. Cinderella also gives a decent reason for why she stays as she promised her father that the family would stay together. What else? The Godmother talks to Cinderella more, mainly about dreaming and impossibility and both encourages it and discourage it too, it’s a catchy song. Other than it’s pretty by the book version of Cinderella, though I do think this version of the Prince with his “impressive arrays of first names” (comment if you know that movie quote, you get two points), wouldn’t have just gone with the slipper fitting as evidence.

Brandy as Cinderella, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina and Victor Garber as King Maximillian 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina and Victor Garber as King Maximillian

On the whole this version is okay, it’s not amazing but it not like bad. The cast can all sing well but then again there is the cast. This version has an odd distinction of having some interesting casting for instants a white king (Victor Garber) and a black queen (Whoopi Goldberg) have an Filipino son (Paolo Montalban) and you know that is great, why the fuck not? Most casting sucks anyway, I mean Megan Fox as April O’Neil, though I did see that movie recently, really she was just playing Megan Fox and that movie was just all kinds of dumb, but I digress .

Now people try to rational this casting because people are weird. Here are some of the reasons I have found online those I’m sure there are more,

#1, Adoption, that is the easy one
#2, Genetics, which is a weird one
#3, Fantasy world, which is a cop-out

Frankly, it’s hard area to wrap your head around. Ideally it should be the right person for the role. But naturally sometimes looks and families have to enter the equation for role though sadly sometimes that get tossed aside for many reasons and sometimes roles that should go to minorities (Looking at you Last Airbender as one of many, many movies ) don’t cast the right person for the role. Personally I respect this version for its casting and the cast did a good job with their roles.

Brandy as Cinderella with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva

However, I do think Brandy was a little weak. She was fine on the singing end of things but her speaking parts where a little lackluster but it wasn’t like that bad. I get the feeling she was trying to be nice, maybe she didn’t have much the work with? Everyone else is fine, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Alexander are also a delight.

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Natalie Desselle Reid and  Veanne Cox  as Stepsisters Minerva and Calliope

 

The technical are fine too. They costumes and sets are imaginative to say the least. It’s like they took the style of the early 90s and tried to make it Art Nouveau. The walls of Cinderella’s house and the castle the this odd geometric pattern that have this golden tone to them that reminds me of Klimt’s the Kiss. I kind of both like it and feel like it’s cheesy. The costumes fit this style, with lots of gold element in them with interesting shapes. Though I will point out the color of the ball is purple and blue tones which makes some lovely shots.

Brandy as Cinderella and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher 1997 Cinderella picture image

Brandy as Cinderella and Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher

I’m not sure if I should mention the songs. There were some add in but they are nice songs and they were sung well, then Whitney Houston and Bernadette Peters in the same musical, yay.

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva 1997 Cinderella picture image

Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva

Is 1997 version of Cinderella the best Cinderella version? That is a matter of preference, if it your favorite, good for you. I thought it was okay at best but it didn’t make me want to tear my eyes out or lobotomized myself and that is good enough for me.

1986, Enchanted tales, 1997, Hunchback, Notre dame, 1911, 2015, picture image

All the Hunchback Versions that have been reviewed this past year

Since this is the very last Tuesday of 2014, I thought I would do a mini look back and see what version was the best and which was the worst. This past year we have looked at like 3 versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The 1986 version, the Enchanted Tales version and the 1997 version. Technically we touched on the lost films back in January but since I can’t even pretend I watched them they don’t count toward reviews.

Melody Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody

The worst version is without a doubt the Enchanted Tales version. A handsome Quasimodo and a terrible moral, yuck. But you know I could deal with the handsome Quasi and the perplexing moral if the animation and songs were decent and not a painful bowel movement  but alas this version says fuck good anything. I will say that this versions was my favorite to tear a part because that is the only thing it has going for it. Also this version was technically the first hunchback version I got screen caps for back in October of 2010, two months before the blog launched. I actually have more pictures that I didn’t use.

 

Esmeralda Dancing 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Dancing

For best version of this year, that is hard one as we only have the 1986 and the 1997 versions left.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses. If I were to judge solely on keeping to the book, I would say the 1986 version is better but if I going on what is debatably the more entertaining movie, I would say the 1997 version. It just so hard because both films’ flaws are so apparent that it’s hard to overlook them but I will say the 1997 version is marginal better.

I can’t wait for 2015! I hope to look at some famous/infamous versions.

Book 9, Chapter 1, Delirium

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) and Frollo (Alain Cuny), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) and Frollo (Alain Cuny),


This chapter is Frollo freaking out about Esmeralda’s death. He doesn’t know that Quasimodo saved her. At the end of the chapter when he sees Esmeralda walking in Notre Dame he thinks its her ghost. All and all this chapter is pretty cool and fun to read as it really just Frollo’s insanity.

Movies haven’t really tackled this one chapter. You see touches of it in the 1982 version and the 1956 version. I understand that movie would rather focus on Quasimodo and not Frollo but this chapter would be so much fun for a movie version. I t really has everything a dramatic movie could want for a director, actor, cinematographer, lighting, etc.

Someone do it!

Book 9, Chapter 2, Deformed, Blind, Lame

Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda & Charles laughton as Quasimodo 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda & Charles laughton as Quasimodo

In this chapter we learn a little about the history and concept of sanctuary and that it can be suspend but that rare. It also is

Esmeralda recovering her sensed that her time in jail rob her of. Quasimodo also gives her clothes food and his bed. We also learn that Djali is a-ok.

This chapter and the next one are often merged in films versions. Though movie favors the last bit of this chapter with Quasimodo’s interactions with Esmeralda and just have it go into the next chapter with one scene.

Book 9, Chapter 3, Deaf

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback  picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo,

Yeah, this chapter is in like every Hunchback movie version, pretty much. It’s the first conversation between Esmeralda and Quasimodo, about why he saved her and how to talk to him, you know the drill.

But you know it’s a lovely meaningful chapter. I have no complaints. Movies tend to do this chapter well enough even if it’s at the expense other chapters/scenes.

In the realm of Hunchback we know that Quasimodo will (or should) be ugly and deformed and Esmeralda should be pretty, these are truth in in the novel, they have set looks. Frollo, while he does have a set look in the novel and is supposed to have an austere harsh look gets a wide variety of looks in the movies.   So today we’re are going to look at some Frollo’s various hair styles.

Frollo’s hair in the book is balding. he had tuff of ugly gray hair on the side which give him a natural tonsure. Movie never go for this look

Jehan 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame Brandon Hurst picture image

Jehan 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame Brandon Hurst

In the 1923 we have two Frollo, Pious Claude and Jerk Jehan. Jehan has black hair that  goes to ears and he also seen wearing a bowler-like hat. Claude has  sepia color. He has a receding hair line.

 

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

Jehan Frollo, Sir Cedric Hardwicke 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

In the 1939 version we again have Pious Claude and Jerk Jehan. Jehan has black hair that is a straight cut across his forehead. He has lock that curl on the side his face. Claude has white hair and he wears a bishop hat.

 

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

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

In the 1956 version, Frollo has a full-head of brown hair. He keeps it short.

 

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame

In the 1977, Frollo has the brown hair with a straight bang line.

Derek Jacobi as Frollo, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Derek Jacobi as Frollo, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

In the 1982, Frollo hair at is at it’s most stupid. It’s a blond bowl cut.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

In the Disney version, Frollo has the same cut of 1939 Jehan but with gray hair. His bangs cut straight along the center of his forehead and then it recedes.

 

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

In the 1997, he is bald.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture  image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris

 

In original Notre Dame de Paris version, he has very short brown hair.

 

Richard Berry as Frollo 1999 Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image

Richard Berry as Frollo 1999 Quasimodo d’el Paris

In the 1999  parody version, Quasimodo d’El Paris, he has short black hair with long thin sideburns.

 

Frollo’s look in the movies (and musicals) are very different than the novel but they seem based Frollo’s look on the past movies than on the novel.

 

 

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

The 1997 version of The Hunchback seemingly has everything a person could want in a Hunchback adaptation but it fails. It’s a boring dull mess that fails to captures the novel even though it seems to be trying on some level however it’s being lazy on so many other levels. The actors can’t save it and there in nothing else to capture interest other than thinking about what this movie could have been like if it wasn’t a TV movie but it was a theatrical movie.

Next Hunchback version; The Enchanted tales Version, oh this one, this is going to be PAINFUL!

Melody and Quasimodo  Enchanted  Tales picture image

Melody and Quasimodo

The very first time I watched 1997 version of The Hunchback I was struck by the sets mainly the Notre Dame sanctuary sets and not in a good way.

Sets 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo in “Notre Dame” Interior Set

The set used for the sanctuary of Notre Dame is pretty but Notre Dame it is not. Oh, it has similar aspects of Notre Dame as it’s a gothic church but it’s not Notre Dame.

Frollo inside "Notre Dame" with King and Minister, 1997 Hunchback picture image

Frollo inside “Notre Dame” with King and Minister

This church has a soft earthly glow to it that Notre Dame not have. Notre Dame is dark inside so that the light from the rose windows pours inside. This light in the movie could have been the result of lighting a set for filming but post production could have corrected that. But I don’t think so. The layout and the look of it are just different. The stones seems more brown in tone and not grey like in Notre Dame. The columns totally different. Notre Dame’s columns are bigger with more complex capitals, the tops of columns. The ones in The Hunchback have like a stacking clustering details. It’s very telling that you don’t get an establishing shot of the sanctuary of the cathedral like in the 1939 version and the Disney version.

The Church of Saint Ouen in Rouen picture image

The Church of Saint Ouen in Rouen

Clearly they are passing another Church off as Notre Dame instead of a building set or shoting at Notre Dame. The Church they are passing off as Notre Dame is The Church of Saint Ouen in Rouen. Shame of you movie, Saint Ouen is gorgeous is its own right. In truth it does not matter which Church it is, it’s not Notre Dame. It’s disrespectful to the buildings and the audience when movies pass off one landmark for another. I get that movies typically pass off Toronto for New York because it’s cheaper but somehow this switch reminds of this Bollywood movie called Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, in which they try and fail to pass off Budapest for Rome. They did it because the filmmakers felt Budapest wouldn’t connect to an Indian audience. And clearly the film makers for the 1997 Hunchback think one Gothic Church is as good as another because people won’t notice.

The rest of the sets are ok, nothing really to say, they are like the rest of this movie meh…..

Next Time -Final Thoughts of the 1997 Version of The Hunchback.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,