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The Hunchback of Notre Dame
"Despite being 100 years old, it remains a classic. It also marks a true beginning of Universal Monster Films that would come to define horror for decades."
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (USA)1923
Director : Wallace Worsley
Starring : Lon Chaney
Patsy Ruth Miller
2 hr 13 min
The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells the tale of Quasimodo (Chaney) who is a deaf, half-blind hunchback with a large wart over his eye. He is a 15th century bell-ringer in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and is shunned by his fellow citizens because of his hideousness.
Except, Quasimodo has a kind heart and, like many horror movie monsters, is misunderstood. He is both simultaneously the villain and the hero at the same time. The hunchback dutifully helps his master, the truly evil Jehan (Brandon Hurst), kidnap a gypsy girl called Esmeralda (Patsy Ann Miller). But when he realises he has been tricked, he turns the tables and saves the damsel in distress.
Chaney takes a backseat to his fellow players at times, allowing the melodrama to unfold. When he does appear, it is a joy watching him grimace and mug his way through the role. His contorted body and face create a believable character, creating pathos like only Chaney can.
Once again, organist Aaron Hawthorne will be providing the thrilling musical accompaniment to this silent movie classic. Watch Aaron describing his performance
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