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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)



Reviews and Comments

Victor Hugo's novel lends itself beautifully to the medium of a black and white silent film. Sound and color would be unwelcome concessions to reality; in silent black and white, The Hunchback of Notre Dame achieves a dreamlike quality with considerable psychological impact. See this, and you won't soon forget the images of Lon Chaney's Quasimodo leaping about the gargoyles and statues of Notre Dame. Chaney, the Man of a Thousand Faces, shows us an unforgettable one here: through thick make-up rendering him unrecognizable, he strikes complex, sometimes conflicting notes perfectly, creating a grotesque yet movingly human tragic hero.

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