Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

The poll is closed and the chosen version is the 1977 version. This maybe the last “big” movie version I have left to review till hopefully another movie version gets made (it’s long overdue at this point).

The 1977 version, like the 1982 and the 1997 version, was made as a TV movie and again like the 1982 version it was made from British TV. It was directed by Alan Cooke and the screenplay was writer by Robert Mueller.  It stared Warren Clarke as Quasimodo, Michelle Newell as Esmeralda and Kenneth Haigh as Frollo.

So why did it take me so long to get to this version? Was a saving it because it’s amazing? Or is it amazingly shitty? The answer is it either but I hate it! It’s so boring despite it being THE MOST ACCURATE ONE!


Side Note – This version is also dated as 1976 but  I’l just go with 1977.


Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame

I ran a poll for what terrible version I should review next. The two options were Secret of the Hunchback and the Enchanted tales version. Enchanted Tales: The Hunchback of Notre Dame won in the end. Say what you want about the Secret of the Hunchback at least it is a hunchback story, Enchanted Tales claims to be one but it’s not.

It has very very very little to do with hunchback story. I mean there is a hunchback named Quasimodo in it and he rings bells at Notre Dame and there is a Gypsy girl that he saves. But it’s vastly different in so many bad grave spinning ways. This movie is 40 minutes of torture and hell. So let’s start this descent into madness

The plot or something like it

Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody & Quasimodo, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame

1997 The hunchback Richard harris, frollo, Quasimodo, Mandy Patinkin, Salma Hayek, Esmeralda, picture image

1997 The hunchback

The 1997 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame is simply called “The Hunchback.” It was a TV movie directed by Peter Medak and stars Inigo Montoya, Dumbledore and Salma Hayek. Wait, that’s not right, It stars Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, Richard Harris as Frollo and Salma Hayek as Salma Hayek, I mean Esmeralda.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Like the 1939 version, this version features the printing press very prominently, in fact it’s a major plot point. It is also one of the only versions that doesn’t have a Phoebus character. There is a blonde soldier but he’s a featured extra and nothing more.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Despite the title being “The Hunchback” this movie is most well known for Hayek as Esmeralda probably because in many was it’s a really good casting choice.

So how does this version fair? Is it a great version, a merely passable version, or a purely mediocre version?

Let’s find out!

Next time the Plot ……..

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo,  The Hunchback 1997 picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture image

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956

Much like the Jetlag version the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame directed by Jean Delannoy is considered one of the most faithful adaptations of the book. Even if it’s not 100% accurate this film captures the mood of the original book. Many consider Gina Lollobrigida’s interpretation of Esmeralda to be one of the most accurate deceptions of what a medieval Romani women would have looked like.

The film does take a lot of liberties with story and characters but did the changes that were made help the film? And is it actually a good and enjoyable movie on its own?

Next 1956 Article – Plot

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956 picture

Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda Hunchback of Notre Dame 1956







Please Note – There are two versions of this film; the French dub and the English dub. I have access to the English Dub


Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 Lon Chaney

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.

Priscilla Dean image picture

Priscilla Dean

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 Plot

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda Hunchback chaney version 1923 picture image

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda

So we’ve looked deeper into the characters of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame now let’s look at them on a shallower level. Of course I mean looks.

Looks are always important with a Hunchback adaptation as you have the extreme beauty and the extreme ugly in the characters. I mention looks briefly in the character analysis but I’m going to a step further is reviewing looks now. So Let’s Get Superficial!!!

Next Time – First up (naturally) is Quasimodo.

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney
Quasimodo’s Reveal

Happy January 6 , this is the date that the novel begins, So I’ll start off by saying Happy Feast of Fools, (I know I’m Dork)

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

The first on the radar is the 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Why start with the 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame? It’s by no means the oldest or even the most well known. The oldest adaptation is from 1836 and the most well known is the Disney version. Which is exactly why I’m starting with the 1939 version. In classic Disney fashion, Disney took cues from this version. For instance if you have read the book but for whatever reason you have only seen the Disney version, you might wonder why is Frollo a Judge? Or why Esmeralda is even in Notre Dame midway the flick? The 1939 version is the first to make Frollo a Judge (to my knowledge) and it is the first in the Notre Dame  collection to have Esmeralda enter Notre Dame for either a prayer, safety, or both. (though in 1923 version, Esmeralda enters Notre dame to meet with Phoebus).

The film is well regarded as a fine movie with great performances especially by Charles Laughton as Quasimodo or as the Hunchback as he is credited. It garnered two academy awards nominations for Best Original Music Score and Best Sound  and given that 1939 was the year of Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of OZ, and other great movies this is nothing to sneeze at.

The film was produced by RKO Radio Pictures and was made as remake for the 1923 version starting Lon Chaney. As far the bare bone of the original plot ala Victor Hugo and the separation of Frollo’s characters by making the younger brother Jehan take on the Lustfulness and the elder Claude as the pious archdeacon of Notre Dame, there is very little similarity between the 1923 and 1939 version. Though the sets look very similar, expect the 1939 version was also meant to one up the 1923 version in lavishness and expansiveness of the mise-en-scene.

Next time we’ll dive into the plot of 1939 version.

Hello and Welcome to the Hunchblog of Notre Dame.

This Blog is dedicated to reviewing and analyzing the different  adaptations of Victor’s Hugo novel Notre Dame de Paris aka The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  There are dozens of retelling of the novel ranging from movies, cartoons, musicals, ballets, and operas. Some are considered masterpieces and some are just pain awful. Some are vastly popular and beloved and even more are unknown.

So why review the various adaptations of this particular novel?  It’s a story that is known throughout the world but at the same time it’s misunderstood. This is mainly because the focus has shifted from “Our Lady of Paris”(Esmeralda) to Quasimodo as the main (titular) character. Of course not all the versions put Quasimodo as the main character but more than enough have. Is it a bad thing not to follow the novel faithfully?  Should failure to follow the novel at least somewhat means that the version be diminish in the quality of the version? I would say no, even if I’m somewhat of purist on following the source material. But so for the sake of this blog, I’m going to review the adaptation on their own merits and then look at the version against the novel.

So stay tuned ^__^

First version up the 1939 version