Gina Lollobrigida who played Esmeralda in the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame passed away today at the age of 95.
You can read her obituary here
which they use a picture of her as Esmeralda.
Gina Lollobrigida who played Esmeralda in the 1956 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame passed away today at the age of 95.
You can read her obituary here
which they use a picture of her as Esmeralda.
The time has come to start getting our Halloween plans in gear. For many costume-goers the go to Esmeralda costume for Halloween is Disney.
And that is great but diversity is the spice of life, so more Esmeralda costumes are needed. If I wear to dress-up as Esmeralda for Halloween I would go with the Gina Lollobrigida version of Esmeralda.
Why? Because while I love the Notre Dame de Paris green dress it doesn’t read as Halloween costume, Gina Lollobrigida’s costume does even if people don’t recognize it. Plus it’s more of a costume of Lollobrigida more than Esmeralda herself. Like when people don a pink strapless gown with a short blonde wig and wear some diamonds, are they dressing up as Lorelei from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or are they dressing up as Marilyn Monroe???
So let’s just say you’re lazy or not the best at sewing what can you purchase to assemble to get a costume of Gina Lollobrigida’s Esmeralda? Here are the elements you will need. Don’t be afraid to cut them up to get a more authentic look to Gina’s costume. And should have some of this on-hand already? Lucky you, you’re one step closer to costumes and candy and an Esmeralda costume!
For the shirt, go for a red fitted shirt with a wide v-neckline. You can of of course cut a deeper v-neck and add some cuts to the sleeves for that tattered effect. For the more enterprising type you get some fabric paint for the stitching details
For the skirt make it long and red. If you can get one with a slit so much the better. Flowiness for dancing is a plus
For the hip scarf, try to go for an unadorned one. Of course if you want to go for the belly dancing ones with the coin go for it.
Ideally go for a brown belt with gold studs but any brown belt should do. You could always paint or stud the details yourself if you want.
A simple red scarf should work for Esmeralda’s red veil. Just bobby pin it in place.
For the jewelry you will need gold coin earrings and lots of gold bangles with coin details. For the earrings two tiers are closer to the costume. You should be ok with any gold bracelets so along as they are not too detailed or have stones. You will want a few on each wrist.
The other things you can add is the knife prop and the glamorous 50s’s cat eye. You can also throw in a wig if you want. I couldn’t find a good enough knife/dagger on amazon. If I do I will add it.
Remember this all for fun. And have a safe fun halloween.Follow thehunchblog
In light of the way the 2016 Oscars acting award nominations went and with the general whitewashing of roles in mainstream big budget Hollywood movies, Esmeralda is an interesting role to discuss as her book self and her film presence are at weird odds.
In the book Esmeralda is presented as a Romani, and without getting it into too much, the Romani people are Ethnically different from the rest of Europe specifically France. However Esmeralda’s backstory in the novel is that she was born Agnes to a French woman and raised by the Romani. This backstory is really only presented in two movies (three if you think the Dingo version count), those versions are the 1923 version and the 1999 Parody version albeit that version flips things around whereas she is born Esmeralda to Cubans and raised as Agnes by mean French people.
Esmeralda in most movie versions of Hunchback is depicted as a full Romani, though the 1982 version there was a throw away line that questioned her background but it went no where, so it hardly matters.
This brings us back to the topic, as Hollywood whitewashes many roles it interesting to note that in Esmeralda’s case they take role of girl who despite having dark hair and eyes with tanned skin is for all accounts a white girl and instead makes the role one for a very specially ethnic minority and yet casts mostly white women. So far in movie versions only Gina Lollobrigida and Salma Hayek have looked the way the film versions theoretically want to depict the character.
While in my own naive little world I think casting should go to right person for the right part but it’s not that simple. A lot of roles are specific to someone’s looks and background. Hollywood however does of course forget that or ignores it and has a history of awarding parts that should go to people of minorities to white actors. Like the casting of Emma Stone in Aloha or Rooney Mara in Peter Pan or pretty much everyone in The Last Airbender or Scarlet Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie, heck Lucy was a Akira knock-off… I digress. The list of whitewashing practices in Hollywood is long.
And as this pertain to the Oscars, actors who fall into minority seldom get nominations and seldom win. Just for example Asian actors which Indian actors fall into, Only two Actors won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Yul Brynner (1956) and Ben Kingsley (1982). Kingsley also got a nominations in 2003. For Actress only Merle Oberon got a best actress nomination in 1935 and no one else since. For Best Supporting Actor, only Haing S Ngor has won in 1984 and only five others have been nominated, Sessue Hayakawa (1957), Mako (1966), Pat Morita (1984), Ben Kingsley (1991) and Ken Watanabe (2003). Oddly the same goes for Best Supporting Actoress with only one winner and five others nominated. The only Asian winner was Miyoshi Umeki in 1957. The five who were nominated were Meg Tilly (1985), Jennifer Tilly (1994), Shohreh Aghdashloo (2003), Rinko Kikuchi (2006) and Hailee Steinfeld (2010).
So how does this apply to Esmeralda? The Hunchback of Notre Dame as I have said before, could be one those movies made specifically to win awards. The role of Esmeralda could be deepen which has been done in the past like in 1939 version or even the Disney version. It could be made into one those Oscar bait roles with relative ease. If that did happen given the state of Hollywood I would prefer to see an Actress who fits into the Romani look more than being a purist to the book. Either an Indian actress or Hispanic actress could fit nicely, though ideally, a young Romani actress would be ideal.
Though given Hollywood’s warped sense of itself they probably would make Esmeralda a Romani, as is the traditional method to her character and cast a popular blonde actress.
Is there an actress you would like see play Esmeralda?
Last week it was announced that one Peter Chernin was developing a new Hunchback of Notre Dame movie from Esmeralda’s perspective. This is a big deal for a few reasons.
First and foremost this idea originally was announced in 2013 as an idea for Once Upon a Time. Once it was announced that was the last anyone heard about it. It’s very unclear if this movie idea came from the Once Upon a Time idea or is a separate concept.
Second this is the first movie since the freaking lost films that Esmeralda as the focus character. Evert movie version since 1923 has been a Quasimodo movie. This also mean most movie versions made are vanity projects lead by a 40 something male actor looking to play emotional yet physically demanding role.
Looking in to Peter Chernin who is not and actor or a director but a business man turned producer who has his own production, Chernin Entertainment. So it’s more likely that this film will happen than other film version that are being made who wanted to be made. Though Max Ryan’s upcoming version which is set to start filming in Serbia is an independent movie.
Also all the new outlets that have report on this are calling it a Live-action. This that either they are connecting it to the Disney version because of the trend of live-action Disney movies is REALLY big right now, they are confused or does Chernin have titles to Disney? That is unclear and it’s still really early in development. But it’s fun that there are two new Hunchback movies in the works, good or bad.
Also one person on http://screenrant.com/hunchback-notre-dame-esmeralda-retelling/ implied Mila Kunis, Penelope Cruz, Aishwarya Rai, or Vanessa Hudgens for the role of Esmeralda. To which I say;
maybe, interesting because her sister Moinca was listed in negotiation for Esmeralda for the Max Ryan movie in like 2007, pushing it on age and her Hollywood debut never really panned out but we could get a kickass dance number if they cast a Bollywood actress, and lastly nope please no on Hudgens.
I hope they give the role to a new actress but I doubt they will but it will depend on Esmeralda background who they cast. I wish they would go with Esmeralda’s original backstory but they don’t I don’t care that much.
Who do you want to play Esmeralda?
Short answer, yes! As of now there have been two Hunchback movies that seemingly have never got their footing one being from Max Ryan that had a full cast list and the other was from Josh Brolin who just had the director attached. The real question is why should they make a new version?
Hollywood technically hasn’t made a Hunchback movie since 1939. Disney of course made their version 1996, but Disney is a little separate from Hollywood. The other versions were from France, (1956, and 1999) and the other versions were TV movies (1977, 1982, and 1997.) So there has not been a designated Hollywood Hunchback in nearly 80 years.
So yeah there should a new adaptation for a more modern audience. But more than that, there are more reasons than just timeframe. Pending on the type of the movie that the producers go for, Hunchback could be pure oscar bait. For instant it’s historical-based story with a high pretension factor. Second make-up, one can get crazy with the Quasimodo’s make-up and people love the trope of the ugly dude with the beautiful soul and I think people on the internet eat that shit up. There also the real-life angle they could make with the Hunchback worker. Oscars LOVE movies based on true stories.
Also adding to the oscar bait factor, the academy loves itself and since it made up of mostly of actors they like movies about actors. Now there isn’t actors so much in Hunchback but Gringoire is a playwright and Esmeralda is a dancer so they are technically part of the larger industry.
They could also go other genre routes, like re-working the story to be like a super-hero movie. Super-hero movies are super popular though they have been waning in recent years. But Quasimodo fits a super-hero type, so it could work.
There is also the chance, albeit not a super strong one, of Disney doing a live-action adaptation of the Disney version. This seems to a major trend with Disney right now. I could see this happening more than an super-hero version or a pure oscar bait.
I will say that I have no idea what Brolin version was trying to do but I would say given Brolin and the director it might have been a super-hero variety. I couldn’t even guess on Max Ryan’s version.
But yeah, Hollywood make a new version. What kind of Hunchback version would you like to see?
(Post Script – Max’s Ryan’s movie is a going ahead as well as an Esmeralda movie in the works)
It’s October, Halloween Time! I maintain that Esmeralda is a great costume for halloween especially the Disney version, you can go here to get tips for Disney Esmeralda costumes. Gyspy Fortune teller Costumes are also great, go here to see awesome options Fortune telling costumes. And of course you could also go for a ghloulish undead Esmeralda go here for tips for that.
Of course, there are two other movie Esmeralda costumes that would be fun choices for Halloween, the 1956 and the 1923 version. Both are simple and you can pretty much buy what you need or go to your closet.
The 1956 costume is bold and striking. It reads Gypsy or at least dancer in a modern yet classic way. You will need a basic red short sleeve shirt, long red skirt, a leather belt with gold details, a dagger, and coin earring and bracelet. Pretty simple yet sexy. You can add the veil and a hip scarf if you want.
Here are some options for the 1956 costume that you can buy on amazon.
Simple Red Shirt
This shirt while simple is the right cut for the 1956 costume. The belt will help create the shape of the costume.
This skirt would be a good option has it has a nice jagged hemline which look like the 56 version and it moves well.
Also comes in purple for Disney version.
Red Satin Skirt
This skirt is also a very good option. It’s simpler but it still lovely.
You can add a belly dancing hip scarf to make it fun but you don’t have too.
Brown & Gold Belt
A brown belt should do the trick but a brown belt with some gold details would be perfect. This is a great option if you don’t have something in your closet already, and you can wear it for every day wear.
The 1956 Esmeralda wears a lot of coin bracelet but one will be enough. You don’t have to use coin jewelry, any gold bracelet should be fine.
Much like the bracelet if you can get coin hoops that would the best but just plain gold hoops would work well.
Just add a little dagger and you’re set! Perfect 1956 Esmeralda
The 1923 verison is an 1920 take on Gyspy costumes which makes it a kind of whimsical and on a fashion trend since with Downton Abbey and the 2013 The Great Gatsby movie, the 1920’s are an in style. The 1923 version is a little tricker than 1956 to buy for but you can get the idea. Since the 1923 version is black and white you can pick any colors you want but one poster for the movie depicted her costume as yellow and purple, so that is what I would suggest.
All you need is a short sleeve loose white blouse, a yellow skirt that hits roughly below the knees but above the ankles, a vest or bolero and hip scarf and a long beaded necklace.
Here are some options for the 1923 costume that you can buy on amazon.
This blouse is a great shape for the 1923 costume. The details are also very nice.
This blouse is more simple but it would still be a good choice for the 1923 Esmeralda. It’s also made from bamboo.
This Yellow Skirt is cute and shorter. Its details are very bohemian.
This Yellow Skirt is longer than the other but it just as boho.
The 1923 Esmeralda wears a little vest but you can get a yellow bolero. If you wish you can cut off the sleeves or leave them on if you want. This one is made from knit so it would be harder to remove the sleeves but the details of the knitting look nice and would match the bohemian style of the costume.
With this Bolero it would be easier to remove the sleeves if you want a more accurate version of the 1923 costume.
The coin hip scarf isn’t 100% to the hip scarf she wears but it’s fun.
The 1923 Esmeralda wears lots of long necklaces so you can fun layering what ever you have. But I would recommend trying to get some yellow and purple in there in you opt for that color scheme.
Don’t forget your tambourine
Also you can also get this to be a super accurate Esmeralda no matter the version
Book 9, Chapter 1, Delirium
This chapter is Frollo freaking out about Esmeralda’s death. He doesn’t know that Quasimodo saved her. At the end of the chapter when he sees Esmeralda walking in Notre Dame he thinks its her ghost. All and all this chapter is pretty cool and fun to read as it really just Frollo’s insanity.
Movies haven’t really tackled this one chapter. You see touches of it in the 1982 version and the 1956 version. I understand that movie would rather focus on Quasimodo and not Frollo but this chapter would be so much fun for a movie version. I t really has everything a dramatic movie could want for a director, actor, cinematographer, lighting, etc.
Someone do it!
Book 9, Chapter 2, Deformed, Blind, Lame
In this chapter we learn a little about the history and concept of sanctuary and that it can be suspend but that rare. It also is
Esmeralda recovering her sensed that her time in jail rob her of. Quasimodo also gives her clothes food and his bed. We also learn that Djali is a-ok.
This chapter and the next one are often merged in films versions. Though movie favors the last bit of this chapter with Quasimodo’s interactions with Esmeralda and just have it go into the next chapter with one scene.
Book 9, Chapter 3, Deaf
Yeah, this chapter is in like every Hunchback movie version, pretty much. It’s the first conversation between Esmeralda and Quasimodo, about why he saved her and how to talk to him, you know the drill.
But you know it’s a lovely meaningful chapter. I have no complaints. Movies tend to do this chapter well enough even if it’s at the expense other chapters/scenes.Follow thehunchblog
Among the more famous versions of Hunchback, each version has a lot of movie posters. For this post, we’re going to look at the top seven best Hunchback movie posters. These are not in a specific order and they are all available on Amazon.
This poster has a lot of energy. You get a sense of the personality of all the characters. I like how Clopin and is front and center and I like how Frollo looms over everyone from on high. I don’t really like how central the gargoyles are but that is a nitpick.
I really like how front and center Esmeralda is in this poster. All the other character are pretty much there in the crowd and their personality come through. I also like the color palette on this one which is ironic seen this was a tinted movie.
I debated whether or not to included this one since it kind of plays with the audience’s expectation of a monster and Laughton is one of the least monstrous hunchbacks but that’s its strength. It has the signifier that says it’s a hunchback movie but makes it feel different and I like that it hides Quasimodoâ€˜ looks. I also like the red tone
There is a similar 1939 poster with a Quasimodo in silhouette against Notre Dame and pillory but it just not a dynamic.
This one made simple but it captures the imagination of what this movie could be like. And I find the design bold and graphic.
I like this one as I really like the rendering of Maureen O’Hara. It just has a good composition to it though I can’t really tell if that is Jehan or Gringoire but I would it’s Jehan.
I really like the picture vignettes in this and Gina Lollobridga looks lovely in this. Somehow this poster just makes the movie seem more like an epic.
I debated between this one and another 1939 poster. I went with this one because I really like the way Esmeralda is depicted. It is also interesting to showcase the pillory scene in a movie poster.
The 1956 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a disappointment. It had a great set-up with its concept making a Hunchback movie that was almost accurate to the book. We had Ananke as a theme, Frollo is a Priest, Esmeralda dying and the Quasimodo lying down beside Esmeralda to die at the end.
But the movie is plagued by bad execution on almost everything. The actors seem to be not into it, the script boring, the music is nonexistent, the camera work in a sea of flat angles, it lacks directional style, the set are fake looking , etc.
This is a seems to be a problem with Hunchback movie. Either you get a movie that is really good but way off from the book OR you get something that is really close to the book but the execution sucks. I think this film has a fair regard with some Hunchback fans because of its accuracies but give them a well executed movie that is also accurate to the book and this version fade from memory.
Next Time – we’re going to look at the Wishbone versionFollow thehunchblog
Unlike other versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame I can tell I’m looking at a set in the 1956 version. The sets are nice and they do their job well but there is no life to them. That maybe the fault of the film’s direction and not entirely the sets themselves.
Notre Dame itself looks fine. It has a nice sense of age and weathering on it. But you never see the full grandeur of it. You get hints of it in shots of the city but nothing expansive.
You do get a sense of the narrow poky streets of medieval Paris but with the flat angles of the direction of this movie the sets really just sit in the background and do not get a sense of feeling like I have been transported back in time I feel like I’m looking at decent looking sets.
I had there been more style to way this film was shot maybe the sets would have stood out more and felt less fake. I feel like the sets were designed for Disney’s Epcot Medieval Paris Experience*” and not a movie.
Next Time – The style of this movie i.e. The Direction
(*) This totally should existFollow thehunchblog