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260 Ratings

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Directed by William Dieterle
United States, 1939
Drama, Romance, History


In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her. This film is an eponymous adaptation of the classic novel written by Victor Hugo.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame Directed by William Dieterle

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1940 | 2 nominations including: Best Sound, Recording

Critics reviews

The full-on Middle Ages re-creation (via set design, seamless process work, and massive scope) evokes Goya and Arthur Rackham like no other Hollywood film ever did, while the necessary abridgment of Hugo doesn’t skimp on the percolation of civil rage, the brutality of the state, or the repression of lust (personified by Cedric Hardwicke’s evil deacon, unable to take his eyes off O’Hara’s breasts) that ignites the entire story.
November 11, 2015
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Resembling a horribly deformed baby, [Laughton’s] Quasimodo is both amusing and terrifying — never more than when he seeks to entertain Esmeralda by childishly ringing the cathedral bells. Its timeless monster aside, the 1939 “Hunchback” is arguably topical and even didactic.
June 04, 2015
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