Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame
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.
The Ending of the 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame
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.
Frollo (Alain Cuny) and Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida), 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame
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.
Anaykh craved on the wall, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame
Next Time – we’re going to look at the Wishbone version
Wishbone as Quasimodo
Quasimodo Sunday is the Sunday after Easter, transnational called “Low Sunday.” In The Hunchback of Notre Dame this is the day in which Frollo finds Quasimodo as a baby and adopts. He calls him Quasimodo because of the day and his deformities. So to celebrate Quasimodo’s name day this;
Frollo names Quasimodo
Image parodies Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
You may not know this but around the turn of 19th century, Quasimodo decided to move out of Notre Dame to pursue his dream of being on the stage. He joined the ranks of Vaudeville where he became a star.
Quasimodo as a Vaudeville Star
In 1922 he got wind that Universal was doing a movie version of Hunchback and he decided to leave the stage and take the plunge into “moving picture” but he lost the role of Quasimodo to Lon Chaney because his movement were to subtle for the screen and he was just too “nice” in his depiction of himself.
After that he tried to return to the stage but he never reached the same level of stardom and when vaudeville cease to be Quasimodo once again tried the silver screen. He got a few bit roles here and there but sadly all of his films are considered lost. After 1936 Quasimodo went out the public eye. Recently however he was spotted working at a Toll Booth somewhere in New Jersey. Keep a look out for him, you may see him one day.
Quaimodo at work in a Toll Booth