The 1923 version of Hunchback of Notre Dame with Lon Chaney is the oldest surviving film version but it’s by no means the oldest. The Hunchback was a project Chaney really wanted to make. Initially Universal watched it to be a star vehicle for Priscilla Dean (who appeared in a few films with Chaney like Outside the Law & The Wicked Darling) but that along with many other attempts at it fell through.
Chaney eventually struck a deal with Universal and Chaney and Irving Thalberg (then then head of Universal) made it into something special and not just another mass-produced movie that universal had been making at the try. The 23 version in affect made Universal into bigger name studio and launch Chaney’s career. But is it a good movie? Is it a good adaptation of Hugo’s novel? If Chaney hadn’t for the most part spearhead this movie and who Esmeralda still have been the focus in the movies? Would there have been the same number adaptations? These and probably more question coming soon.
Next Time- The PlotFollow thehunchblog