This is part of my Participation in Paris in July 2023 Hosted by Words and Peace
Set in 15th-century Paris, Jehan (Brandon Hurst), the evil brother of the archdeacon, lusts after a Gypsy named Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and commands the hunchback Quasimodo (Lon Chaney) to capture her. Military captain Phoebus (Norman Kerry) also loves Esmeralda and rescues her, but the Gypsy is not unsympathetic to Quasimodo's condition, and an unlikely bond forms between them. After vengeful Jehan frames Esmeralda for the attempted murder of Phoebus, Quasimodo's feelings are put to the test.
Quasimodo is initially repulsed by Esmeralda's beauty, but he soon comes to care for her. When Esmeralda is framed for the attempted murder of Phoebus, a captain of the guard, Quasimodo risks his own life to save her. In the end, Quasimodo is rewarded for his kindness and courage, and he finds acceptance and love among the people of Paris.
The 1923 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a classic of silent cinema. Lon Chaney's performance as Quasimodo is one of the most memorable in film history, and the film's sets and costumes are lavish and impressive. The film is a powerful and moving adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, and it remains a popular and critically acclaimed film today.
The scenes in the streets of Paris among the extreme poor are very striking. The make up for Lon Chaney took two hours to apply . The film strongly portrays the extreme contrast of the lives of the common people to those at court, Patsy Ruth Miller's dancing is very sensuous,
The movie was a big success for Universal Studios. They reconstructed Norte Dame Cathedral on their lot in great detail. There are explanations of the action to help the audience follow.
In July of 2011 I posted on the novel for Paris in July 2011: