Photo of the Day

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) gives Quasimodo (Anthony Quinn) some water when he's chained in the square in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1956)

A great production which is rarely seen. Lollobrigida is perfect as Esmeralda and Quinn is good as Quasimodo. The one problem with this film is that there's a definite lack of chemistry between the characters. Film critics in France dismissed the film, as many wanted French actors in those two role. Some mentioned Brigitte Bardot as Esmeralda and Jean Marais as Quasimodo. The French nouvelle vague filmmakers, who began as film critics, rebelled against these kind of big productions at the time. I sorta understand what they were thinking but today in 2013 I like these old fashioned productions, certainly compared to the throw-away junk made today.

Both actors spoke French in this film (with heavy accents) and the film was shot simultaneously in French and in English. I tried to do a Fan Dub of this at one point and realized this fairly quickly. Too many scenes didn't match.

4 comments:

Scott said...

The 1956 production is a decent rendition of the story, and Lollobrigida is certainly more believable as a gypsy than the relentlessly Irish Maureen O'Hara, but I just don't think it's possible to beat the cast of the 1939 version. For that matter, I think the 1923 Lon Chaney version edges this one out for pathos.

Michael O'Sullivan said...

I loved this 50s verion as a kid, and seeing it again recently on dvd it still works, its very colorful and Gina and Quinn are ideal in their roles. That ending still gets me, when Gina's body is dragged away, followed by her pet goat - and Quinn finds her and stays with her...

Angeline B. Adams said...

Based on your blog I looked it up on Amazon, then also visited Youtube on a hunch... It's all there!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX5lSMlCWQU

The 1996 Mandy Patinkin-version is there too. I like the Laughton-version, but am fonder of the Chaney movie. Still waiting for the definitive rendition though...

Remco

PEPLUM cinema said...

Yes, there's a Youtube channel dedicated to the HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

I love the previous versions but there's no denying that the Cinemascope screen & color make such a big different over the other B&W classic versions.