Christopher Gable as Gringoire The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Christopher Gable as Gringoire

In many ways this version of Gringoire is on point with the book. He does pretty all the action in does in the book with the same attitude. He has a high opinion of himself with regards to his work, he does want Esmeralda but backs off when he rebukes with awkward attempt at seduction,  he cowardice about dying for Esmeralda, he doesn’t want to die in her place. Although he didn’t steal Djali, would have been easy for him to do but he doesn’t. In fact he pretty damn callous in that scene since Esmeralda is begging not to leave and he like “laters.”

Christopher Gable as Gringoire The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Christopher Gable as Gringoire

In fact this Gringoire is very callous at the end of the movie. After Gringoire makes off with Djali we don’t hear from him again but we hear that he went on to write tragedies, so happy ending for him.  This version seeks to give the viewer closure on Gringoire, so after Frollo and Esmeralda die, Gringoire looks around at their bodies in the square and he  says  “And only I spared to tell the tale” then he smiles. At first before he says that line he does seem a little sad but the smiles after the line is said. It gives some credence to the story but it makes Gringoire look unlikable in this version. It does beg the question, was Gringoire unlikable in the book?

Christopher Gable as Gringoire The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Christopher Gable as Gringoire

I’d say no. He was fairly relatable. He didn’t want Esmeralda to die but he didn’t want to die either plus he had no idea what Frollo’s motivation were regarding Esmeralda.  But it’s amazing how that one line that the movie adds in to give Gringoire an ending made him look like such a jerk. It’s not even the line itself it that smile and the fact that right after said smile he says “there is a god in heaven.” Such a massive jerk-face.

Is there anything good about this version? And don’t say adherence to the book, many Hunchback versions adhere to the plot so they don’t have to add anything else to make it good for a visual medium.  

I put a lot of thought into the pronouns for the subject line however there isn’t much to say on the characters’ characterizations, so we’re combining them into one post. 

Ye Gringoire

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

As Phoebus is Esmeralda’s primary  romances focus there isn’t that much for Gringoire to do especially in the second act. Gringoire does marry Esmeralda, tries REALLY hard to seduce her  and helps out with her act. Basically he is her friend. He does seem to be a writer as evident but him holding paper in his first number.  

One thing that confuses me and I’m sorry if I didn’t mention it before, Esmeralda marries Gringoire BEFORE meeting Phoebus. This means her rejecting  him is  less about being a naive girl who thinks she was in love with handsome soldier and is more about that she just isn’t into him. I don’t know but it seems less dramatic if you ask me, which no one did.

Back to Gringoire. His character seems to air on the side of comic relief. His numbers are light and almost fun. Esmeralda rebuffing him and indicating he would be hanged if he didn’t do as he was told were cute. Though he does try to something to Esmeralda when she was sleeping which is creepy, though he did do creepy things in the book, like spy on her through a keyhole so it’s not out of character but why would you have that but mess-up the order of the story.  There are some weird decisions in this ballet.

He does seem like a good friend to Esmeralda. He tries and comforts her when she learns about Fleur de Lys and he gives her two hugs in the second act. Once right before the first execution attempt and a second right before she actually executed. Since there is no attack on Notre Dame to save her hugs are all he really does and maybe that is enough to show he cares.       

 

Il Clopin

Clopin, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Clopin, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Clopin is definitely there. Since he looks like a pirate I would say that he is a leader of Court of Miracle- Leader of the Thieves and not the Duke of Egypt- Leader of the Romani. So many version combine the two characters and yet I’m pretty sure there was a third guy in that leader mix.  Yet the text is confusing because it makes it seem like Clopin has all these titles, like Daenerys Targaryen, so reading the book I got confused and felt like an idiot that I would even think that Clopin wasn’t the Duke of Egypt   but yes Clopin and the Duke are separate characters and there is a third guy, the Emperor of Galilee. Duke’s given name is Mathias Hungadi Spicali and the Emperor’s name is Gulillaume Rousseau. I do recall the duke being in the 1950’s version and the Jetlag version but no version has had a the Emperor of Galilee for good reason he is fat drunk who doesn’t do anything that I can recall.

Anyway back to this Ballet’s version of Clopin, I assume that is what they call him  but I can’t read cyrillic so I don’t really know.  While he doesn’t lead the attack on Notre Dame he does care for Esmeralda as evident by a hug he gives her in the second act.

He does try to hang Gringoire, which a one of Clopin’s tasks and oddly like the Disney movie he hosts the Pope of Fools crowning. Not much to him but he seems like a jovial guy in an eyepatch.

 

De Fleur de Lys   

 

Fleur de Lys & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Fleur de Lys & Phoebus, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Fleur de Lys is a justifiable bitch, like in the 1956 version, I’m starting to see a little bit of a pattern. She loves Phoebus but her gives his love away to another girl. This metaphor is made clear by the scarf Fleur gives Phoebus which he gives to Esmeralda.
Unlike some other versions of Fleur, this version of her doesn’t help bring Esmeralda down or revel in her death. She is just sad and angry  about Phoebus loving someone else but she does take him back without question and marries him. She is boring in this version and that is about it.  

Terrance Zdunich picture image

Terrance Zdunich

Let’s just say we live in a Fantasy world where they’re making a movie version of Notre Dame de Paris and it’s a better English translation of the musical. Who could we get to play Pierre Gringoire? One possibility I could see is Terrance Zdunich.

Terrance Zdunich picture image

Terrance Zdunich

Zdunich isn’t a widely known actor but he was in a weird horror musical called Repo! The Genetic Opera which came out in 2008. I knew about it at the time since in 2008 I was a huge Sarah Brightman fan but I couldn’t bring myself to see because Paris Hilton was in the movie. Fast-Forward to 2016, I finally watched it because I was working on a list of seven horror musicals. It was really one those movies that I found to confusing to hate but is probably not a great movie  I also was wrong about  Paris Hilton, she  was perfectly cast as a spoiled rich girl who addicted to surgery, needs drugs and isn’t a great performer, it’s a meta role. However what struck me was Zdunich as the Graverobber.

Terrance Zdunich as The Graverobber from Repo! The Genetic Opera picture image

Terrance Zdunich as The Graverobber from Repo! The Genetic Opera

I mean just look at him in this movie and tell you can’t see him as Gringoire?  There something about the styling of The Graverobber that is very reminiscent of Notre Dame de Paris. Zdunich’s mannerism are on par with a lot of Gringoire’s actors.    Even the  Zydrate Anatomy number is very similar in feeling to Val d’Amour.

But if you need more convincing just watch the Zydrate Anatomy part, which also features Paris Hilton.

Terrance Zdunich picture image

Terrance Zdunich

But what do you think? Do you think Terrance Zdunich would make a good Gringoire à la Notre Dame de Paris?

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Sometimes these Hypothetical Casting posts get away from me. I have a habit of focusing more on the Esmeraldas and the Frollo options that sometimes the minor character don’t get that much attention. That’s why it’s great to be reminded, I want to thank Skylar for the suggestion of Freddie Highmore for Gringoire.

Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates Bates motel picture image

Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates

So let’s talk about Freddie Highmore. From a acting stand point, I’m more familiar with his work as a child actor like in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. However he was decent in both those movies. He seemed to be a better than average child actor. Now that he is grown up so has his acting. I did watch some of The Bates Motel and his acting prowess is in no question. He can act.But that isn’t the question. The Question is, would Highmore make a good Gringoire? That is a hard question because like our old friend Phoebus, Gringoire is another character that can be a hero, a coward, a verbose poet, there in the background, or not there at all. So like Phoebus, actors with a range are more preferable, and yes Highmore does have a range.

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Of course the REAL question is does Highmore have the right look for Gringoire? As you may have guess, looking the role isn’t the end all be all, make-up and costumes can work wonders and often looks are ignored. Plus Gringoire’s looks really aren’t that important to his character. So why should it be important? Well gotta have something to go on but Highmore does have a good look for the way Gringoire looks in the book. He is describes as “all, thin, pale, fair, young still, although already wrinkled in the brow and cheeks, with two brilliant eyes and a smiling mouth…”  So yeah I think Highmore fits that look really well, a little too well.

Freddie Highmore picture image

Freddie Highmore

Someone cast Freddie Highmore as Gringoire right now! But what do you think? Highmore for Gringoire?

 

Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image picture image

Pierre

Pierre or as he more commonly known in Hunchback, Gringoire, has a lot of diversity in terms of the roles he can plays in Hunchback adaptations. He can be comic relief, the hero that saves Esmeralda or just the story teller. He is a bit like Phoebus whereas he can easily be a hero or a villain pending on the movie. Secret of the Hunchback use of Gringoire or Pierre isn’t that different but combines him as comic relief and hero. Also a you MIGHT have noticed, there is no Phoebus character and typically if Phoebus isn’t in the movie or has a tiny role, Gringoire is the hero.

Esmeralda and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and Pierre

For Gringoire to be the hero in a Hunchback movie he has to be Esmeralda’s love interest, which he is version. However his bad poetry in his first sense makes a comic relief. He also doesn’t do all that much to save the day, Quasimodo does most of the “work” i.e swings down and stops a wedding but Pierre helps and does “rescue” Esmeralda from Frollo once after the pillory scene. So he fit nicely into his two roles.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

Now, that being said how is as a character and how does he stack up next to his book counterpart? As far as he is in this version, he’s a nice guy, that’s pretty much it. He’s nice to Quasimodo and is his pal. This doesn’t make him compelling or interesting but his bad poetry at least made him enjoyable, so gets a pass from him. He also isn’t that much like he is in the book. In the book Gringoire was a cowardly whiner who still wasn’t that great a writer, so they got one thing right about him. But to be fair, getting Gringoire’s characterization right isn’t the most important thing about adapting this story.

Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Pierre

Also I just want to add that Pierre is a Protestant in this version. Which was for the sake of a joke.

Esmeralda and friends The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda and friends

 

 

Next Time  The Goons Esmeralda travels with

Let us start off the character potion of the review with Quasimodo or the Hunchback in question.

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

First off this Quasimodo, like other Quasimodos, he talks to his pals the stone gargoyles.  However these Garagoyles don’t take back they sing back and cry. This begs the question Are they real or imaginary. The dream song part leads me to believe yes they are imaginary but the tears say no they are real. Or is Quasimodo is imaging they are crying for him but that seems a little too out there for this kind of movie.

Quasimodo and Pierre The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Pierre

Also this Quasimodo follows the other versions of being solely nice. He has one cheeky remark on Gringoire’s poetry being so bad that it could hurt someone but that is it. Which is more snarky than any other versions but it wasn’t that mean, just for a laugh at Gringoire’s expense.  Still without that one minor throw away joke he would have been 100% bland nicety-nice. The line give a .3% edgy factor. Good job!

Quasimodo and Frollo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo and Frollo

Basic plot of Hunchback plot says that meany-face Frollo raises Quasimodo when Quasimodo is a young baby. This version forgoes this and he is raised by unnamed Archdeacon and a monk dude.

Other versions where Frollo is separte from his role as the Archdeacon still gives him a  relationship to Frollo for drama . Even the Enchanted Tales version gave Quasimodo and Frollo or whatever his named was in that crappy version, a connection of being brother. Oh Good God! I’m looking at the Enchanted Tales version as a positive, help me. So there is no real internal conflict for Quasimodo aside from being ugly aside from that is pretty chill and laid back.

Quasimodo The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo

Would I say this Quasimodo is boring? Yes, I would. Aside from that joke about Gringoire’s poetry and the being an angel, he was a weak Quasimodo. No pathos, no drama just a nice angel.  Also his deformity is paint by numbers. It’s all accounted for but not interesting really all I can say is that it looks like he has some major dark circles.  At least he REALLY likes the bells.

The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Quasimodo in Angel form

Ok one more thing, in this version Quasimodo is an angel, so does that he born an angel and abandoned because of the ugliness? OR was always an angel and his being abandon part of a plan? Or was he never an angel and insane? I don’t know any option makes sense.

Next Time Esmeralda

Esmeralda The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Esmeralda

 

To get ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Christmas the Hunchback characters are doing a secret santa.

Quasimodo picked Frollo and got him Opteka 650-2600mm High Definition Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras for Stalking Esmeralda better.

Esmeralda picked Clopin and got him Southpole Men’s Marled Full-Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt, so her can be fashionable and warm but it’s a shallow girt.

Frollo picked Fleur-de-Lys and got her a Selfie Stick, He doesn’t know her at all.

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks picture image

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks

Phoebus picked Quasimodo and got him Ben Sherman Novelty Socks, socks, not thoughtful at all.

Gringoire picked Master Florain and got him Plant Theatre Herb Garden Seed Kit , Gringoire thought he was being clever but I can’t see the deaf judge caring for it.

Clopin picked Sister Gudule and got her Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries Movie #15: Forbidden Zone, Clopin is being wicked with this one.

 

Outdoor Gargoyle statue picture image

Outdoor Gargoyle statue

Fleur-de-Lys picked Notre Dame de paris and got her Design Toscano Florentine Gargoyle Statue, Notre Dame could use a new cute statue.

Jean picked Djali and got her Caution Attack Goat Sign, gag gift

Sister Gudule picked Phoebus and got him 1 X Snowman Mug w/ Shovel Spoon – Christmas Decor, she know he liked a good drink but it’s super misguided

Djali picked Esmeralda and got her Quiddler, Djali likes words.

Notre Dame de Paris picked Gringoire and got him Une Nuit De Noel a Notre Dame De Paris CD, who wouldn’t ant a new Christmas CD

Master Florain picked Jean and got him Corkcicle Chillsner Beer Chiller, It’s useful but Jean won’t use it.

Few things in Hunchback are a terrifying as bad version of Hunchback. There are actually many awful version of this story either though laziness of acting, writing production values, editing and directing but there is one version that takes it such a degree that it truly the stuff of Nightmares.

I of course mean the Dingo version. Doesn’t Djali look evil?

Esmeralda and Djali with Gringoire, Dingo Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Djali with Gringoire, Dingo Hunchback of Notre Dame

I mean just look at that, that is crap never known to the world before. One has to work to be so lazy, so bad. It someways it like a weird surreal art piece, some commentary of the human condition to wonder at the odd and sincere. To reveal in the discourse of humanity. It is true terror, or just lazy pile of shit.

We’ll get more in more into the Dingo version later, I’m too scared to review it after a month of scary stuff.

So for the next version let’s look at another infamously bad version of Hunchback.

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo, The Secret of the Hunchback

More singing Gargoyles? This going to give me nightmare too.

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame (Attack of Notre Dame)

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris

This songs just hits like a ton of bricks after Vivre. Maybe that was the point but like I have said half the songs in the show are bridge songs that lead into the next song. Maybe that was the point to lull the audience in with nice flow and then break it but it seems to me that songs or scenes were cut between Vivre and L’Attaque de Notre-Dame and that whistle line was proof enough of that.
However how is L’Attaque de Notre-Dame? As a song it’s has a cool melody, though it’s mostly Le Sans Papier with another melody overlay over.

The song has two parts the first part is mostly Clopin and Phoebus singing. Phoebus and Frollo attack Notre Dame to get the Court of Miracles out as both Frollo and Phoebus want Esmeralda dead because Frollo couldn’t get some and Phoebus wants some, (wink wink.) Frollo at the start has a part where is gives Phoesbus the right to break the right of sanctuary, because he can do that. Phoebus’s main part is line line about outing the outlaws while Clopin sings the chorus of Le Sans Papiers.

The first part ends when Clopin is beaten to death and before dying asks Esmeralda to take over The Court of Miracles. Esmeralda then takes over singing Le Sans Papiers and Gringoire sings some verses from La Sans Papiers. However Phoebus and crew win.

While the music is very powerful, there is a weird context issue. Considering how accurate this version is regarded, this part is one of the least faithful versions. I’m not saying it doesn’t work within the show but I must mention it.

-Frollo in the book makes up the rumor that sanctuary is being suspended for a day but in the musical he can just do it.
-In the book the Court of Miracles attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and get riches but in musical they are the ones defending the Cathedral with Clopin leading the charge.
-In the book Quasimodo defends Notre Dame to protect Esmeralda from people he thinks want to harm her but in the musical Quasimodo is not in this number at all.

I think for me that is a big little misstep, Quasimodo who loves Notre Dame isn’t there to protect it. It works in the musical but it seems off. The whole of this scene feels off, it’s a cool number but it is rushed and odd.

Déportés (Deported)

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

The bad guys win! Everyone who wants Esmeralda to die got their wish. In this song Phoebus passes the sentence on Esmeralda and the Court of Miracles. The Court are all deported and Esmeralda is dragged off to be hanged. Fleur-de-Lys and Phoesbus leave together happy with their scheme and Gringoire is powerless to help. This is the last we see of these characters in the show.

Frollo has moment of remorse but he is too far gone.

Déportés isn’t that much, just really two lines, exile and deported but Phoebus and the chorus sing the the lines with coldblooded authority that it’s crushing and chilling. It’s an effective number that gets you into a less than happy mood.

Mon Maitre, mon sauveur (My Master, My Savior)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon saver Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon sauveur

More death. As dawn breaks, Quasimodo begs Frollo to stop Esmeralda’s execution but Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he organized the hanging. As Esmeralda dies Frollo laughs and Quasimodo pushes him to his death. In the show it’s down the stairs instead of off Notre Dame de Rock Climbing wall.

Mon maître, mon sauveur is a simple song without a lot of orchestration but that gives way for Frollo’s craziness to come through. There much to it except the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. Esmeralda is harnessed and lifted up so the sight of seeing her hanging lifeless in the air is disheartening. Frollo’s death is done with a silhouette falling down various stairs of Notre Dame. I’m going to guess it was done with doubles tumbling on cue and Lavoie appears out the bottom.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Lune (Moon)

Gingoire lune Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Gingoire and the moon

Lune is gorgeous. If you don’t believe that a Gringoire can sing then this knocks it out the park.

Gringoire sings this song as a storyteller and it about the dangers and the all consuming nature of love. Gringoire ask the moon to bare witness to Quasimodo who suffers from love.

There is so much power and pathos in this song. The melody is delicate and melancholic. It’s perfect!

Je te laisse un sifflet (I leave you a whistle)

Garou as  Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara as Esmeralda

Two words; Chekov’s Gun! If you introduced a prop, you better damn use it or why bother. This song is the biggest misstep in the show. In this song Quasimodo gives Esmeralda a whistle much like in the book however she never uses it in the show and it is never used ever.

I sort of HAVE to assume that they were songs cut from the show that would have made this song make sense because the transition between Vivre and The Attack on Notre Dame is awful and most of the songs in the show are bridge songs that transition.

They should fixed this song up so that there was no whistle mentioned because it’s stupid. I mean it’s one line that could have been fix as the most of the songs is rather sing-song and Quasimodo just give Esmeralda the load down of the cathedral. But even with that line about the useless whistle, I have no problem saying that this is the worse song in the musical by far.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE