Sorry guys, due my own procrastination and being sick there will be no new post on Quasimodo  d’el Paris this week but I won’t leave you with nothing.

I was seeing if there was any new info on the Max Ryan version of Hunchback  when I saw on IMDB that the only cast for this movie is now Max Ryan as The Hunchback and Steven Berkoff as Advisor.

Does this mean that the ‘pivotal’ roles of the Giant and the Figment have been cut? Maybe, movies do get rewritten even as they are being made (though this Hunchback version is still in pre-production). Fun Fact Gone with the Wind was getting rewrite like everyday of filming and went through three directors.

Another possibility is that the cast they has listed are no longer attached to the project so the roles just aren’t listed and there will be The Giant and The Figment. I mean, Esmeralda and Frollo were never listed but at one point prior to the movie getting a listing on IMDB  there actors in negotiations for the parts, Monica Cruz and John Rhys-Davies.  I think this is the case because I for one and very curious about the Giant and the figment  and at the same time scared.



Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

In the 1997 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame or very simple called The Hunchback, there is a scene about 45 minutes in the movie where Esmeralda and Frollo meet. It a combination a few different scenes, we have Esmeralda’s prayer, the Frollo stares scene al la 1939 and Frollo’s confession.

In the scene Esmeralda prays outside Notre Dame asking forgiveness for Quasimodo’s torture. Frollo is in a cart next to her and through the fabric he confesses his feeling. Esmeralda lingers and hears this and she draws her knife and looks into the cart only to have Frollo around the other side. The scene ends with Esmeralda seeing death in his palm which I guess he talk as sign that he should go kill someone because that is the next thing he does, ah plots you seldom ever make sense.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Again the this scene isn’t like scary but there is a creepy tone to this scene. It has good mood and atmosphere. It also helps that Frollo looks like Nosferatu. Really when you think about it this scene is like if the kidnap attempt scene from 1939 version and Hellfire had a baby.

I was on a hunt for information on the upcoming Josh Brolin version of Hunchback and I found a 2007 version that had a cast and script attached. I’m a little unsure if the movie is in preproduction or in development hell or finished or what. It’s seems to be called, The Hunchback, real original.

It seems to be lead by actor Max Ryan and seems to be another vanity project. According to, Monica Cruz plays Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies plays Frollo. Both actors are listed under “in negotiations.” It’s a little funny because Hazel D’Jan, who has a good look and is fairly age appropriate for Esmeralda is casted in the film as “Figment,” whatever that means. Since this movie seems up in the air and may not happen or did not happen or did, I can’t find lot information on this, I will hold off judgement on Cruz and Rhys-Davis, though methinks casting posts are in order.

However, the Script did win Best Screenplay at the Queen International Film Festival in 2007 and that is what I want to discuss. You can read a synopsis  RIGHT HERE 
I may seem like a book purist but I’m a fan of good adaptations. This movie might be great but based on the little info I have on the plot, I dunno how good this version is or will be. Here are 5 WTF things from the plot summary.

– Quasimodo parents loved him and Clopin killed his parents to sell him but Quasimodo escaped. Shame on you movie for making Clopin evil.

– Frollo is guilted into caring for Quasimodo. Disney did the same thing but this Frollo seems less gray than Disney Frollo, this Frollo is a Grade-A jerk-face.

– Quasimodo lives in “the cave” of Notre Dame. Not sure that that means but they elude to it being in the high grounds. Shrugs

– Quasimodo saves Esmeralda when she attacked by wolves. What? Huh? Kidnapping is not evil enough for you movie? Oh, that would imply Frollo and Quasimodo have a relationship where Quasimodo loves Frollo and would do anything for him and in this version they hate each other. It’s new, I give it that but it’s dumb. It also seem like Frollo involvment with Esmeralda comes from Quasimodo’s first involvement and not the other way around.

– Frollo kills the guy who guilted him into raising Quasimodo and frames Esmeralda. Semi ripping of the 1997 version here, huh?

It strikes me that this plot took too many liberties with the original and made some dumb choices. But who know maybe it’s better than the little PDF makes it out to be.

What are your thoughts on this plot? And if you have or find any more info on the this version let me know.

Benedick Blythe as Phoebus, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Benedick Blythe as Phoebus with Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Phoebus is not a character in the 1997 version of The Hunchback. He is a featured extra who has a few lines but has no importance to the plot. So what does it mean for the story with Phoebus not present in the narrative?

First, it means that there is no noble presence in the characters. Nobles played a bit of a role in the book and in some of the movies. The Film gets around this a little by making the King a slightly bigger character. Not  as big as the 1939 version but he gets few lines. There is also the King’s minster who is the Frollo kills.

It also means Frollo anger isn’t targeted in regards to his lust for Esmeralda. Instead Frollo is being challenged by the minister who is all for the Printing Press. with his resolved weaken Frollo yearns for Esmeralda and when he can’t get her, he kills the minster. And because Frollo used Esmeralda dagger she gets the blame.

This weakens the core of the story as Esmeralda has no reason to kill the minster, unless you count the one line he says dismissing Gypsies as not real people. But the movie doesn’t make bring that up in her trial, so their interaction is nonexistence. It also robs the intensity from Frollo’s lust.

Not having Phoebus also changes Esmeralda’s character. With no other love interest, Esmeralda doesn’t not come off a childish and flighty which suit a standard strong-independent Hayek role well.


Can a Hunchback story take place without Phoebus? I suppose it can but I would say that the 1997 version is not a model for how to do it. The killing the minster plot is a weak and sloppy.

Next time – A little by more on the characters

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda

Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Like so many, many other Gringoires, the 1997 version of The Hunchback falls into the romantic guy category. However, unlike other Gringoires he doesn’t do anything, he’s kind of  just there to be Esmeralda’s love interest.


Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire


Other Gringoires try and help save Esmeralda by means of the written word or a speech. In this version Quasimodo does the leg work and Gringoire just helps out in passing out Quasimodo’s pamphlet, leading the riot and getting the noose of Esmeralda’s neck.


Edward as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward as Gringoire

One could argue that Gringoire doesn’t do that much in the book but he does have a personality here is doesn’t really.


Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

I think he is sincere in his affections for Esmeralda but this Gringoire isn’t really allowed to do much except be nice and  follow Quasimodo’s plan.


Next time – Clopin

Jim Dale as Clopin , 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Jim Dale as Clopin


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

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame oicture image

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Essentially, the 1982 Gringoire function the same of he does in the 1939 movie as the lovestruck poet who falls in love with Esmeralda and is desperate to save her. However the 1982 Gringoire employs different means than his 1939 counterpart to save her. The 1982 Gringoire doesn’t use words and the printing press to save Esmeralda. Instead he uses a speech. He also suggests to Frollo that he could switch places with Esmeralda and that he will be willing to die in her place. This was in the book except it was Frollo that suggested the idea and Gringoire rejected it.

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire & Robert Powell as Phoebus, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire & Robert Powell as Phoebus, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The 1982 Gringoire has some new facets to the characters. First we see Gringoire trying to sell some sonnets. I think this is the first and only time we see him doing this. he also is the only Gringoire to write a poem for Esmeralda. He is also the first and only Gringoire to get very jealous at Esmeralda’s adoration for Phoebus.

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame


Aside from these instances of character the 82 Gringoire is very much like 1939 version. However, the 1982 version of Gringoire feels more like a real person. The 1939 version was a bit too nice and perfect. He doesn’t seem as in control the same way as the1939 version. This one gets jealous and petty in regards to Phoebus and his utter desperation to save Esmeralda while really expecting nothing makes him compelling.

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire & Lesley-Anne Down as Esmeralda, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Gerry Sundquist as Gringoire & Lesley-Anne Down as Esmeralda, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Is it the 1982 version of Gringoire greatest bestest Gringoire ever? No but it’s not an offensive depiction and it’s solid which consider most adaptation of the story is a very good thing (having flashbacks to Enchanted Tales version of Gringoire).

Next 1982 version Article; Jerky Jerk Phoebus

Robert Powell as Phoebus, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Robert Powell as Phoebus, 1982 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Mad Monster Party picture image

Mad Monster Party

Mad Monster Party was made by Rankin/Bass production a.k.a the people who made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as several other holiday stop-motion movies. Mad Monster Party came out in 1967 and was the fourth film they made.

Quasimodo Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo Mad Monster Party

Now I’m not going to review the whole movie but the basic plot goes like this; Baron Boris Von Frankenstein is planning to retire and invites a slew of monsters (famous movie monsters) to his island to name his successor. There are lots of corny jokes and songs. It’s a cult classic and there is even a Monster convention held in North Carolina that is called “Mad Monster Party” click here for info.

Quasimodo (The Hunchback) Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo (The Hunchback) Mad Monster Party

Now as you have probably guessed one of the monsters present at the Mad Monster Party is none other that our darling of Paris, Quasimodo or as he is known in this film as The Hunchback. So how does this film represent him? Ummmm he’s there….? Quasimodo does a few things like rings the bells (classic trait), carries the mummy’s tomb around, dances, sleeps and participants in the mob at the end. However with a few exceptions most of the monsters in this movie don’t do much more than that. He provides more of a monster-atmosphere than an impact on the plot.

So I’m not holding it against the film for using Quasimodo in this fashion besides in the scope of monsters, Quasimodo isn’t a monster he a deformed hero. Although I would fault the movie that Quasimodo didn’t actually speak any words of dialogue. Not sure if this reference to the Silent Chaney version or that he is deaf. My guess would be a nod to the silent version as deaf people can speak and Quasimodo lost his hearing at the age of 14* so he knows how to speak.

Quasimodo (Hunchback) Mad Monster Party picture image

Quasimodo (Hunchback) Mad Monster Party

So Quasimodo is a non-entity of a character but how does he look? He looks like Quasimodo should look. He has a clear hunch, his smaller eye looks like it really does impair his vision, snub nose, etc. He looks recognizable as Quasimodo unlike his portrayal Hotel Transylvania. He also moves the way you would except Quaismodo to move which is no small feat considering this is a stop-motion puppet. The only thing is why does Quasimodo have pink hair? Did they think we would confuse him for Francesca the hot red hair?

Francesca Mad Monster Party picture image

Francesca, Mad Monster Party

Because I don’t think the audience would have. I really can’t think of why they went with pink over red but I guess that was the filmmakers’ grand vision.

The Hunchback's credit Mad Monster Party image picture

The Hunchback’s credit Mad Monster Party

All in all, Mad Monster Party is a fun little romp and I’m glad Quasimodo does get a credited role but still I find it vexing that he’s lump with Monsters, traditional or not it’s affront to his character but at least for the film running length you can forget that.

* (book 4 chapter 3 Immanis Pecoris Custos, Imanior Ipse )

It maybe a day early but I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year from the Hunchblog

Happy New Year from the Hunchblog

This just a photo-manipulation I did of Helene Segara during the Bercy concert of Notre Dame de Paris….