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File:Quasimodo whipped closeup.jpg

There have been two notable live-action film versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

The 1923 black-and-white silent version produced by Universal featured Lon Chaney as Quasimodo.

The 1939 black-and-white sound version produced by RKO Pictures featured Charles Laughton as Quasimodo.


These films provide examples of:

  • A Taste of the Lash: Quasimodo gets flogged in both versions.
  • Battering Ram: In both versions, Quasimodo drops a long piece of wood onto the rabble attacking Notre Dame and the rabble use it as an improvised battering ram.
  • Counting to Three: In the 1939 version, when confronted with a begger who refuses to pay his share into the common fund, Clopin gives him to the count of three to reconsider -- and stabs him just as he says, "Three."
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Quasimodo in both versions.
  • The Grotesque: Quasimodo in both versions.
  • Historical Domain Character: The 1939 version features King Louis XI of France.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: The 1939 version has sexually frustrated villain Frollo staring at Esmeralda's breasts when they meet for the first time.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Quasimodo in the 1939 version, and Esmerelda in both.
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