Quasimodo – One of the Hallmarks of any good Hunchback of Notre Dame version is how Quasimodo’s look. It’s important to his character. The 1956 version tried to humanize his looks and it didn’t work, at all.
He hardly has any deformity and he’s not a hunchback, Quinn just slouches, so he’s a slouch-back. Did they forget his hunch? Anyway. His over-all costume is tan and green. It fits in with scope of the other designs of the movie but it’s too neat and clean for a recluse bell-ringer.
Frollo – Frollo’s costume from a design stand point is simple, he wears black, the end. Mess that up and you have an very incompetent costume designer.Of course ideally he wears a back hooded robe.
And this version got all those elements. There is some more design inserted into the costume but it doesn’t distract. He has wide sleeves typically called “poet sleeves.” He also has seams that give his robe a padded look. He also sports a cape which gives a dramatic flair.
Gringoire – Gringoire, like Quasimodo wears green and tan. His doublet has puffed sleeves that extend into a false sleeve which gives of top-heaviness which was fashionable at the time. He also has the same padding like seams that Frollo has on his costume.
Phoebus– Since Phoebus is rich and a soldier he get a few costume changes. He gets soldier suit and two civilian looks. However these looks are quite similar. All of his looks have sparkles which I’m sure is an anachronism. His costume also use richer fabrics than the other characters but the cut is identical to Gringoire’s costume.
Fleur de Lys– Fleur wears a light blue gown with a veiled hennin (the princess pointy hat), which was the fashion in the 15th century. Her style of dress is very on point with what women wore then, it has a high waistline and a v-neckline. Her gown is detailed with fur and appliques. Though appliques are yet an anachronism.
Clopin – Being as he poses a beggar, Clopin wears tan and rougher fabrics. Unlike Quasimodo and Gringoire, his clothing are ragged. He also is typically seen wearing a cloth cap that matches his tan tunic.
Overall, while the costumes in this movie are not to exciting they more or less work within the scope of a medieval movie. However they don’t stand out as being amazing. The worse thing about the costumes in this movie is the lack of effort on Quasimodo’s make-up. Even if you are going to humanize Quasimodo’s looks, he still NEEDS A HUNCH!
Next 1956 Article – The Sets