Besides Quaismodo’s make-up and Lon Chaney is there anything else that this movie has going for it? Yes, yes there is, the Sets. The sets are well done.
The sets for the 1923 version of the Hunchback were built on the back-lot of universal. To create the cathedral they built the set up to the row of statues. The upper portions of Notre Dame in the long shots were the results of a floating miniature. A floating miniature means that they would hang the model in front on the camera to force the miniature to match up with the set to look like a whole. It’s a trick of the camera that isn’t used to much these days. But the result look seamless.
The production also used age old film tricks like matte painting to give the sets more depth. In the picture above, everything beyond the chest is a painting
Also strategic positioning of extras helped to give the sets more scale.
According to the DVD commentary, the Notre Dame set was used at the end of Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera. Notice how you don’t seen the upper portion of the church that was filled in bu the floating miniature
So the set are great but does that couple by Chaney, his make-up and one of my favorite Esmerladas make this a Good movie?
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