The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

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    There are 16 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by The Tennesseean.

    • The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)




      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      King Louis XI is a wise and old king and Frollo is the Chief Justice.
      Frollo gazes on the gypsy girl, Esmeralda, in the church during Fool's Day
      and sends Quasimoto to catch her.
      Quasimoto, with the girl, is captured by Phoebus, Captain of the Guards,
      who frees the girl.
      The courts sentence Quasimoto to be flogged, and the only one who
      will give him water while he is tied in the square is Esmeralda.
      Later, at a party of nobles, Esmeralda again meets both Frollo,
      who is bewitched by her, and Phoebus.
      When Phoebus is stabbed to death, Esmeralda is accused of the murder,
      convicted by the court and sentenced to hang.
      Clopin, King of the Beggars, Gringoire the Husband of Esmeralda,
      and Quasimoto, the bellringer, all try different ways to save her from the gallows.
      Written by Tony Fontana

      Full Cast
      Charles Laughton .... Quasimodo
      Cedric Hardwicke .... Frollo (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
      Thomas Mitchell .... Clopin
      Maureen O'Hara .... Esmeralda
      Edmond O'Brien .... Gringoire
      Alan Marshal .... Phoebus
      Walter Hampden .... Archdeacon
      Harry Davenport .... King Louis XI
      Katharine Alexander .... Madame de Lys
      George Zucco .... Procurator
      Fritz Leiber .... Old Nobleman
      Etienne Girardot .... Doctor
      Helene Whitney .... Fleur de Lys
      Minna Gombell .... Queen of Beggars (as Mina Gombell)
      Arthur Hohl .... Olivier
      Curt Bois .... Student
      George Tobias .... Beggar
      Rod La Rocque .... Phillippe (as Rod LaRocque)
      Spencer Charters .... Court Clerk
      Kathryn Adams .... Fleur's Companion
      Diane Hunter .... Fleur's Companion (as Dianne Hunter)
      Sig Arno .... Tailor (as Siegfried Arno)
      Lionel Belmore .... Judge at Esmeralda's Trial/Clergy in Play
      Earl Clyde .... Festival Juggler (uncredited)
      Edmund Cobb .... Soldier (uncredited)
      Alan Copeland .... Choirboy (uncredited)
      Harry Cording .... Soldier on Horseback (uncredited)
      Jack Curtis .... (uncredited)
      Charles Drake .... Bit (uncredited)
      Ralph Dunn .... Soldier (uncredited)
      James Fawcett .... Festival Ball-walker (uncredited)
      Peter Godfrey .... Monk (uncredited)
      Alexander Granach .... Soldier (uncredited)
      Charles Halton .... Fisher the Printer (uncredited)
      Rondo Hatton .... First 'Ugly Man' Contestant (uncredited)
      Otto Hoffman .... Deaf Judge (uncredited)
      Cy Kendall .... Nobleman signing Petition (uncredited)
      Victor Kilian .... Esmeralda's hangman (uncredited)
      Mike Lally .... Beggar (uncredited)
      Elmo Lincoln .... (uncredited)
      Ray Long .... Festival Skeleton Dancer (uncredited)
      Angela Malmos .... Helene, first to see Quasimodo (uncredited)
      Frank Mills .... Townsman (uncredited)
      Paul Newlan .... Quasimodo's Flogger (uncredited)
      Nestor Paiva .... Man In Street When Gypsies Arrive
      Jack Perrin .... Extra (uncredited)
      Russ Powell .... Second 'Ugly Man' Contestant (uncredited)
      Dewey Robinson .... Butcher (uncredited)
      Norbert Schiller .... Saturn (uncredited)
      Ward Shattuck .... Festival Juggler (uncredited)
      Alan Spear .... Festival Contortionist (uncredited)
      Gisela Werbisek .... Grandmother (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Bruno Frank adaptation
      Victor Hugo novel "Notre Dame de Paris"
      Sonya Levien

      Joseph H. August

      Original Music
      Alfred Newman
      Tomás Luis de Victoria (song "Ave María") (uncredited)

      The only movie screened at the very first Cannes Film Festival (the remainder of the festival was canceled when Adolf Hitler's Nazi forces invaded Poland on 1 September 1939).

      Charles Laughton's makeup took two-and-a-half hours to apply each day.

      The film required the use of 2,500 wigs.

      At a cost of $1.8 million, this was one of the most expensive films ever made by RKO Pictures. The Notre Dame replica alone cost $250,000.

      Irving Thalberg first presented the project to Charles Laughton in 1934. But plans didn't materialize until Laughton signed with RKO and chose this film as his first assignment at that studio.

      Having worked with her in London, Charles Laughton insisted that 'Maureen O'Hara' would be the perfect Esmeralda for the film.

      RKO specifically wanted to outdo the 1923 silent version of the story, so a vigorous campaign that spared no expense was undertaken. Much attention was given to advance publicity; no pictures of Charles Laughton in full Quasimodo makeup and costume were allowed to be seen so that a first-time viewing would be a guaranteed shock. Also, the studio hired (at Laughton's request) leading makeup artist Perc Westmore to supervise makeup. Unfortunately, Westmore and Laughton had heated quarrels before a final image for Quasimodo was agreed upon.

      This was noted Shakespearean actor-manager Walter Hampden's first sound film.

      This was RKO's last release for 1939 (and second costliest in its history, next to Gunga Din). Although it premiered about the same time as Gone with the Wind, it held its own at the box office, grossing an impressive $3.155 million.

      Pandro S. Berman offered Basil Rathbone a principal part in this film but Universal refused to release him.

      'Edmund O'Brien''s movie debut.

      American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1939 includes Gail Patrick and Laura Hope Crews among the uncredited players, without role designations. Neither actress appears in the film in any role of prominence, which their status in the industry at that time would have dictated. It's possible, however, they participated anonymously as extras, just for the experience, as many of their contemporaries often did.

      Sound from King Kong is used in the film: when Esmeralda is being tortured, some of her screams we hear belong to Fay Wray. Also, when Quasimodo is defending the cathedral, some of the screams of the wounded attackers belong to the sailors from King Kong; and when Frollo falls to his death, his scream belongs to one of the sailors as well.

      Two actors in the film play two different roles, one credited, one not. Thomas Mitchell plays Clopin (credited) and also plays the deaf judge that sentences Quasimodo to the pillory. George Tobias plays the beggar who wants to hang Gringoire (credited as "Beggar"), and also plays one of the workmen in the cathedral who sees Quasimodo ringing the bells in his joy of Esmeralda.

      Well aware of the war raging in Europe, Charles Laughton chose a lull in the day's shooting to recite, in full Quasimodo costume, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, as he had done in the film Ruggles of Red Gap. As in the previous film, it stunned the cast and crew for the rest of the shooting day.

      Revealing mistakes: After Quasimodo dumps the molten metal on the crowd below him, he sits on the wall with the sky in the background. Creases in the painted backdrop are clearly visible, as well as the backdrop fabric.

      Revealing mistakes: Quasimodo's misplaced eye never moves or blinks, belying the fact that it is a prosthetic.

      Revealing mistakes: SPOILER: Obvious stunt double for Frollo as he struggles with Quasimodo near the end of the film.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Los Angeles, California, USA
      Mudd Hall of Philosophy - 3709 Trousdale Parkway, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
      (interiors: bell tower)
      RKO Encino Ranch - Balboa Boulevard & Burbank Boulevard, Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame the 1939 American monochrome film,
      is considered by some reviewers to be the best
      of the many film versions of Victor Hugo's classic novel.

      This was Maureen's first film she made in the US,
      with her mentor Charles Laughton.

      I wonder how many of us,
      especially the more 'mature' members,
      remember seeing this one when they were kids.
      At the time, it was quite frightening, an early 'horror' movie!!
      Now of course it's all harmless fun,
      spoilt I suppose, by the fact that, we now, all notice
      the creaky sets, although, at the time it cost
      a fortune to make!!

      A couple of Duke co-stars to look out for,
      Thomas Mitchell, and Cedric Hardwicke
      and an un-credited Cy Kendall.

      User Review

      Author: Robert Reynolds from Tucson AZ
      The best of the many versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for my money, is this one, although Lon Chaney's is a close second. Despite a Hollywood tendancy to change the novel's ending so as not to depress the cash customers (although, pray tell, if you're going to change the ending, why does no one ever see Quasimodo sailing off to Tahiti with the girl?
      Rule # 1: strong, handsome poets beat out disfigured cripples every time, even if they're heroes. This is more true in real life than in the movies. Take my word for this, I know from painful experience *sigh*)

      Charles Laughton is exceptional and Maureen O'Hara would make any man swoon and is perfect for the part of Esmerelda. The support includes the usual suspects-Thomas Mitchell, Harry Davenport and many other familiar character actors. Strike up the band and start the parade. Thunderous applause. Most highly recommended.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • 1939 certainly was a remarkable year for movie making. Thomas Michell was quite busy this year starring in the following 5 classic movies:

      1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Clopin
      2. Gone with the Wind (1939) .... Gerald O'Hara
      3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) Diz Moore
      4. Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Kid Dabb
      5. Stagecoach (1939) Doc Boone

      Not to be outdone in the same year Ward Bond was in 21 pictures and many of them classics as well, they are as follows:

      1. The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939) .... Walton
      2. Gone with the Wind (1939) .... Tom (Yankee captain)
      3. Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939) .... Hunk
      4. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) .... Adam Hartman
      5. Dust Be My Destiny (1939) (uncredited) .... Thug
      6. Frontier Marshal (1939) .... Town Marshal
      7. Waterfront (1939) .... Mart Hendler
      8. The Girl from Mexico (1939) .... Mexican Pete, the Wrestler
      9. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) .... John Palmer Cass
      10. The Kid from Kokomo (1939) .... Ladislaw Klewicki
      11. Return of the Cisco Kid (1939) .... Accused rustler
      12. Union Pacific (1939) (uncredited) .... Tracklayer
      13. Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) (uncredited) American Legionnaire
      14. Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939) .... Sailor Sam (wrestler)
      15. Dodge City (1939) .... Bud Taylor
      16. Trouble in Sundown (1939) .... Henchman Dusty
      17. The Oklahoma Kid (1939) .... Wes Handley
      18. Pardon Our Nerve (1939) .... Kid Ramsey
      19. Made for Each Other (1939) (uncredited) .... Jim Hatton (pilot)
      20. They Made Me a Criminal (1939) .... Lenihan (fight promoter)
      21. Son of Frankenstein (1939) (uncredited) .... Gendarme at gate

    • Hi all,
      Inspired by this new forum went to the local DVD store to see whic Maureen movies they have. And found this one.
      Watched it for the first time. It's great! And the best thing it is very close to the Hugo novel.
      And cast is great. Of course Maureen. But I like very much Louton (saw him before only once in Captain Kidd) and Thomas Mitchell.

      By the way this movie wasn't shoot in Paris. The whole replica was built and Maureen herself said it was perfect. Know this from the DVD feachers.

      Senta :rolleyes:
    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

      DukePilgrim wrote:

      Has Charles Laughton Maureen O Hara Hunchback of Notre Dame ever appeared yet on DVD?

      I don't know about overseas, but over here it is available from Deep Discount and Amazon (cheaper at DD, as usual).

      Chester :newyear:
    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)


      Big disappointment for Maureen at the end of the shoot. Alfred Hitchcock offered him the lead for his film Rebecca, but the director Dieterle did not want to give up Maureen and this is Joan Fontaine was chosen and received an Oscar ...

      The filming of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" began in August 1939, near Los Angeles, in a oppressive heat.

      To complete the original trailer, here's a short video ...

      Good reading
      Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
      French-English translation: poor !!!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Romy ().

    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

      ........... Some pictures from the film .........



      Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
      French-English translation: poor !!!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Romy ().

    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

      Watched this again for the first time in years.
      What a great cast, and such a lavish set.
      Still one to watch.
      However isn't it strange when you look back on a movie,
      how very much of it you can't remember!

      Why was I not made of stone, like thee?

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

      The Tennesseean wrote:

      This picture showed just how promising Maureen really was!

      Tell you what Russ,
      as you know she was a gypsy and they said she looked pretty!!
      Oh yes she did, but above all she looked beautiful.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: Maureen O' Hara- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

      The Tennesseean wrote:

      Keith - I believe the correct word would be: STUNNING!!

      You know Russ, I thought about STUNNING,
      and in the end went for BEAUTIFUL.
      She is/was certainly both
      Best Wishes
      London- England