The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

on December 31, 1939 by BOXOFFICE Staff
   Of first importance is the fact that the remake of Victor Hugo's medieval horror melodrama can be definitely pegged as a high grosser. It posesses those ingredients that make for almost universal appeal. On the entertainment side of the ledger will be found mostly assets and one possible liability. The latter is its unavoidable overtone of somberness, which at times becomes gruesome and, to the squeamish, almost repellent. Far overshadowing, however, are its magnificent performances, of which the portrayal of Quasimodo, the misshapen bell ringer, by Charles Laughton is as fine-grained a bit of mummery as the screen has offered in many seasons; the elegance of its production values, abounding in sweep and spectacle; and the sensitive direction of William Dieterle, who found in the masterfully etched screenplay a vehicle handwrought for his talents.


   Sell this as a super spectacle and emphasize the horror angle. Make over your theatre front to resemble the facade of the famous Notre Dame cathedral. Have your local library display Hugo's books and direct particular attention to "Hunchback." Secure stills from the silent version for comparative display in the lobby and invite comments, perhaps through a newspaper contest, as to whose makeup is the more terror-inspiring in appearance-that of the late Lon Chaney or Laughton's.

If You Have Chills to Feel, Prepare to Feel Them Now... The Horror Drama of the Ages Returns as the Season's Most Spectacular Film...Big Beyond Words, Thrilling Beyond Belief, Magnificent Beyond Comparison...With Charles Laughton in His Greatest Screen Portrayal. FLASHBACK: DECEMBER 29, 1939
What BOXOFFICE said about...

Tags: No Tags

read all Reviews »


No comments were posted.

What do you think?