The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Reviews

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February 19, 2016
This film gave me a feeling that few films have in recent years: a feeling of awe. As of right now, this movie is ninety-three years old, and it hasn't lost a single step.

Silent films are known for their lack of subtlety, but this masterpiece's two leading performances by Lon Chaney Sr. and Patsy Ruth Miller show surprising restraint.
January 31, 2016
A classic showcase of arguably the greatest actor of all time, Lon Chaney. His incredible feats are captured to inspire and educate future actors pursuing physically dramatic roles. Chaney's Hunchback stirs empathy within the viewer, simply by his actions. As a silent film, this was most challenging as images, not sound, were solely relied on to convey emotion to audiences. A must for any cinema student or silent film buff.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2015
Well made, but ultimately dull.
November 9, 2014
This early silent film adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel is solid. The acting is pretty good, and the sets are fantastic. Lon Chaney, the man of 1000 faces, gives a great performance as Quasimodo, and his make up effects look great. It is a wonderfully made tragedy, and marked the beginning of Universal's history of horror films...though I don't personally think of this as horror, its a lavish epic adaptation of a tragic novel, and the "monster" is a sympathetic character. Whatever you consider this, it is a classic and definitely worth the watch if you are one that enjoys or tolerates silent film.
½ July 28, 2014
I assume this was the first film version of this story. It's remarkably like the only other version I've seen; the 1982 version with Anthony Hopkins. Quasimodo was played well by Lon Chaney. The stunts looked pretty good but his make up made him look like a cross between Bilbo Baggins, Fred West and Mel Gibson.
July 13, 2014
Important from a scope and historical standpoint, but I was checking to see how much time was left more than once.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2014
Deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo takes it upon himself to protect the beautiful and kindhearted gypsy girl Esmeralda when she is falsely accused of murder. The silent version with Lon Chaney is understandably overshadowed by the magnificent talkie with Charles Laughton, but this one is fast-paced and spectacular by silent film standards, packing quite a bit of Victor Hugo's novel into about two hours.
November 13, 2013
The Only Two Universal Monster Films That Are My Favorites Are 1931's Frankenstein And 1931's Dracula.
½ September 17, 2013
Long, but good. The performances are great, the Hunchback look great, and the film has the right kind of atmosphere. It stays up there in the Classics from the Silent Era.
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2013
Lon Chaney creates another iconic deformed literary character - Quasimodo. There is some great stunt work done for him as Quasimodo climbs down the front of Notre Dame cathedral. If you've seen another version of the tale, there is nothing drastically different. All the familiar characters are present. Esmeralda does not look at all like a gypsy, but it is explained away by a flashback plot where she was kidnapped from her well-to-do French mother. Clopin is the king of the beggars. He wants to begin a revolution of the poor against the rich. The divide between the haves and the have-nots is extreme. The king's justice is corrupt and unfair. There is a good archdeacon and his evil brother. Quasimodo spends time being influenced by each of them. Esmeralda falls for womanizer and recently promoted Captain of the Guards, Phoebus. She is also kind to the half-made bell ringer. Of course, there is the moment when Quasimodo yells, "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" to protect her. There are several massive crowd scenes, but most are shot from quite a distance. The tone remains serious. As Victor Hugo was a verbose author, so this picture seems to have a higher than normal number of lengthy title cards. This Hunchback indiscriminately protects the cathedral from Clopin's mob and the king's soldiers. He is easily manipulated and it is too bad that his relationship with Esmeralda is not given more time.
½ April 28, 2013
The original adaption of Victor Hugo's classic novel Hunchback of Notre Dame and this in many regards is one of the better versions.

Lon Chaney truly was the man of 1000 faces & was utterly sensational as the Hunchback he nailed the image & intensity of the role.

Beautiful Paris locations where used is this film & the terror & tension of this film was directed masterfully. Unfortunately the original negative of this film has never survived and the print available is a little average, but the impact of this film is still there.
April 12, 2013
Lon Chaney brings more magic to the screen as he flawlessly pulls off the role of the hunchback.
April 9, 2013
An ugly and deformed outcast falls in love and saves a gypsy lady from execution by keeping her within the walls of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Lon Chaney steals the show in one of his most memorable roles, playing the hunchback full of anguish but with a great heart. It is too bad that the direction is much too low key and that the scenario does not do the story justice.
½ February 10, 2013
A marvellous experience, particularly with the live organist. So wonderfully atmospheric. A real treat.
½ January 22, 2013
Pretty good adaptation and a lot of the changes from the original text make this version work... Still, missing the Disney songs and I caught myself humming them at times. Yeah, I think it's a good thing.
January 19, 2013
Lon Chaney truly made Quasimodo creepy, especially at the beginning. Perhaps it was the soundtrack that provided me with this unnerving feeling but his jerky movements weirded me out. Now my low rating of this will probably reflect the quality of the film i saw this on. It is truly awful. I refuse to buy any more DVD's from this certain distribution company because they're always bad quality and deter my enjoyment. I'm sure there are better improved versions on youtube.
½ November 10, 2012
ok film, better than I expected, this film was a silent movie I'm not a fan of silent movies so I don't think I'll watch this again, it starred Lon Chaney as Quasimodo
October 13, 2012
It's a shame so very few people know about this superb silent film. I was captivated by it the first time I watched because it is superbly performed, is stunning to look, has a great story, has genuine emotion, and the finale is stunning and beautifully done. Why this has not gone on to become a classic like other silent films, I'll never know, but I will always cherish this superb film. If you like silent films, you must see it.
October 8, 2012
One of the best silent films out there, the stunt work astonishes me.
June 20, 2012
The masterful performance by Lon Chaney is worth the time it takes to watch this film. He is one of the few actors i have ever seen who could make you cry without uttering a word. Highly reccomended.
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