Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Movies at Manly – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

The first film to fully capitalise on Lon Chaney’s unorthodox appeal, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a sumptuous dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic at the then-phenomenal cost of $1.25 million. This was an extraordinary gamble, since the film boldly deviated from established Hollywood formula and made its central character not a charming romantic ideal, but a gruesomely disfigured ‘monster’ who is incapable of arousing in the beautiful leading lady anything more than pity.

Hunchback is a huge production: the sets depicting 15th century Paris included a façade of Notre Dame Cathedral. Filming took six months and the climactic sequence employed two thousand extras but it is Lon Chaney’s performance that makes the character unforgettable. As Quasimodo, the deaf bell-ringer of the Notre Dame cathedral, Chaney is a marvel of makeup and nonverbal expression, shuffling through the streets of medieval Paris, communing with the gargoyles of the cathedral’s towers, dutifully suffering the lashes and humiliation for a crime committed by another.

Book tickets

Location: St Matthew’s Church (Darley Smith Building), Manly


Jul 30 2022


2:00 pm - 3:50 pm


$20 - $25

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