Big spectacular, massive success in the 1920s. Strong points: Lon Chaney's hunchback performance, the sets, some shots around the cathedral. But, how many scenes of this were left in the cutting room? The narrative, which starts off grandly in its sequential introduction of actors, becomes a mess of incomplete sub-plots. // Seen with a so-so compilation, adapted & performed by the Robert Israel Orchestra.
While not as iconic as the sound version that would arrive 12 years later that featured Charles Laughton in the defining performance of Quasimodo this silent take on the Hugo classic has its' own rewards. Lon Chaney gives a solid take on the character but more interesting is the feel for the time period captured with clever use of sets and crowds.
Delight!! Exceptionally paced, brilliantly 'scripted' (title cards), and utterly captivating. Lon Chaney's performance as Quasimodo is astounding (and often heartbreaking). Watching the rabble take on the aristocracy never gets old. And if the medieval women look a bit like flappers... well... let every movie have that as it's biggest fault! Well done.