The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
Lon Chaney Sr. stars in this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic tale The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hugo’s story has been adapted many times since this version was released in 1923. RKO’s 1939 movie is probably the most famous, but this one comes a close second. It was Universal Studios’ most successful silent movie and grossed over $3 million.
It has to be said, the movie was very well produced, but it is likely that the real reason behind its success lies with Lon Chaney playing the hunchback. He was a perfect choice to play Quasimodo and it is worth noting that Chaney, who was known as The Man of 1,000 faces, applied all of his own makeup.
Wallace Worsley directed the movie. Chaney and Worsley worked together several times and were known to have enjoyed a very good professional relationship. In fact, just a year earlier, they combined their talents for the 1922 horror movie A Blind Bargain. Sadly this is now considered to be a lost film.
This 1923 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame often finds its way onto horror-related websites, probably due to Lon Chaney’s frightening appearance in the film, but I had to think twice about adding it to this site. Despite Chaney’s monstrous appearance, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is probably better categorised as a drama, or possibly a romance. Either way, there is a lot happening that cannot be called horror. What the heck! I added it anyway. If you want to watch it, just hit the play button on the player at the top of the page.
Directed by Wallace Worsley
Patsy Ruth Miller
Kate LesterWinifred Bryson
Nigel De Brulier
Ernest TorrenceTully Marshall
Harry von Meter
Nick De RuizEulalie Jensen
Phoebus de Chateaupers
Madame de CondelaurierFleur de Lys
ClopinEl Rey Luis XI
Mons. Le TorteruMarie