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