The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1923 American film directed by Wallace Worsley and produced by Carl Laemmle and Irving Thalberg. It stars Lon Chaney, Sr., Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Nigel de Brulier, Brandon Hurst. The film is probably the second most famous adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, following the critically acclaimed, much reissued 1939 masterpiece by RKO Pictures. The film was Universal’s “Super Jewel” of 1923 and was their most successful silent film, grossing over $3 million.
The film is most notable for the grand sets that recall 15th century Paris as well as Lon Chaney’s performance and spectacular make-up as the tortured bell-ringer of Notre Dame. The film elevated Chaney, already a well-known character actor, to full star status in Hollywood. It also helped set a standard for many later horror films, including Chaney’s The Phantom of the Opera in 1925. In 1951, the film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to the claimants failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication. Continue reading
The Café Elektric has a “mixed” clientele. This is where criminal gigolo Ferdl spends his evenings, but it´s also where men like construction tycoon Göttlinger celebrate a successful business deal with the girls. One of the girls is Hansi who dreams of a better life but remarks that “the likes of us never get out of the Elektric”. Meanwhile Göttlinger´s daughter Erni falls for Ferdl. When he demands money from her she can only steal from her father. Construction engineer Max is concerned over Erni´s possible downfall but covers her. Things change when he meets Hansi. When Ferdl uses a ring stolen by Erni to impress his former girlfriend Hansi, matters get complicated and fates entwine. Continue reading
In his career, De Wolf Hopper recited Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat” thousands of times. Here, wearing a tuxedo, he emerges from behind a curtain as if at a theater, gives a short introduction, and launches into the poem. The camera is stationary, and although Hopper stands in one place, his hands and arms, his face, and his voice are animated throughout. In delivery, it’s a minstrel performance. Continue reading
In Ropin’ Fool (1922) Rogers plays Ropes Reilly, a cowboy who ropes anything that moves until a lynch mob decides to use Reilly’s rope for a hanging party, with Reilly as the guest of honor. Motion Picture World wrote: “Plentiful use of slow motion photography shows how it is done and dispels any possible belief that the stunts are faked. No audience can help but marvel as Rogers throws a figure eight around a galloping horse, or lassoes a rat with a piece of string, or brings to term a cat melodiously inclined.” Later Rogers would wryly claim fame as America’s “Poet Lariat.”
“In Recife, Dr. Paulo is an important lawyer that has a daughter, Heloísa, with his paramour and living in the country. A few days before traveling to Europe, Dr. Paulo asks to a close friend to bring Heloísa to Recife. Meanwhile, his bohemian and irresponsible son Helvécio meets Heloísa, and without knowing that she is his sister, he tries to rape her, and she kills him. Heloísa is arrested and goes to trial without any evidence to prove that she self-defended her honor” Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ( IMDB)
The Lucky Dog is the first film to include both members of the famous comedy duo of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, later known as Laurel and Hardy and is the first occasion that they worked together. Though they appear in scenes together, they play independent of each other and not as the comedic team that they would later become. Continue reading
IMDb user comments
Both this original and the Wellman remake are marvellous Golden Age films – it’s difficult to compare silents with talkies, or either to the book. In the book you use your imagination, this 1926 original had a cast of thousands, ’39 was a populist version with identical screenplay, full orchestra and name changes, ’66 only had 2 brothers and muzak, whilst if made today would probably have nothing real in it at all.
Three English brothers – Ronald Colman, Ralph Forbes and Neil Hamilton – join the French Foreign Legion to escape one of them being accused of stealing a large diamond. They find a hard life awaiting them, coming from the hordes of seething Arabs but more especially their own intense Sergeant Lejaune (Noah Beery). The greasy rat Boldini as played by William Powell jarred a little, but only because you know how urbane he really was in retrospect, while you can almost hear Colman uttering his lines in his own inimitable way. The acting was believable, the direction appeared faultless and generally production values were Paramount-high. Continue reading