28 November 2014

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
133 min.
Directed by Wallace Worsley.
With Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Brandon Hurst, Ernest Torrance, Kate Lester, Tully Marshall, Nigel De Brulier.
The Man of a Thousand Faces, Chaney conjures up one of his most memorable countenances as the deformed Quasimodo in this 1923 silent screen adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic novel.

It's 1482, in the city of Paris. Grotesque in form but pure of heart, the hunchback of Notre Dame finds his sole sanctuary in his love for sweet gypsy Esmeralda (Miller)...but will the world allow the poor creature some respite of happiness or he is doomed to torment?

With an effective palette of makeup, Chaney is magnificently creepy as the tortured Quas, his countenance is unnerving to gaze upon. With only the orchestral score as accompaniment, the creepy effect is doubly enhanced.

Kudos also to the excellent medieval sets for this. Created on Universal's backlot, the set pieces are detailed, authentic constructs which lend the piece a real feeling of historical accuracy.

A stunning spectacle, this one is an equal contender to the awesome power of the 1939 Charles Laughton version.

copyright 1998-present | The Terror Trap; www.terrortrap.com | all rights reserved