The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Synopsis: King Louis XI is a wise and old king and Frollo is the Chief Justice. Frollo gazes on the gypsy girl, Esmeralda, in the church during Fool's Day and sends Quasimodo to catch her. Quasimodo, with the girl, is captured by Phoebus, Captain of the Guards, who frees the girl. The courts sentence Quasimodo to be flogged, and the only one who will give him water while he is tied in the square is Esmeralda. Later, at a party of nobles, Esmeralda again meets both Frollo, who is bewitched by her, and Phoebus. When Phoebus is stabbed to death, Esmeralda is accused of the murder, convicted by the court and sentenced to hang. Clopin, King of the Beggars; Gringoire, Esmeralda's husband; and Quasimodo, the bellringer, all try different ways to save her from the gallows.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): William Dieterle
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

I've never heard a more beautiful Angelus.

Who is the bellringer of Notre Dame?

Quasimodo, Your Majesty.

The people simply call him

the Hunchback.

What an odd name.

And now, Master Fisher,

let's see what reason... High Justice had for asking me

to come to your shop.

What do you call this apparatus?

The German inventor, Gutenberg,

calls it a printing press, Your Majesty.

What is it for?

To print books, Your Majesty.

- For whom?

- For the people.

They will learn to read

when they can get books.

I can print a volume, like this one,

in a few weeks...

...and quite inexpensively.

Imagine, Frollo, a few weeks.

When I ordered my prayer book... took them years to copy it out...

...and cost me a fortune.

This is more beautiful

than the printed book.

Nevertheless, the printing press

is a miracle.

A horrifying miracle.

Horrifying? This small press?

Small things have a way

of overmastering the great.

"The Nile rat kills the crocodile."

This small press can destroy a kingdom.

Oh, come, my High Justice,

don't exaggerate.

What is that?

It is the first page of a new book,

Your Majesty.

Let me see it.

"On the Freedom of Thought."

- Who wrote it?

- Pierre Gringoire.

Gringoire? Who is he?

A French poet, Your Majesty.

A heretic, sire.

To spread him is to communicate disease.

How do you know?

It may be a great blessing to France...

...if people can get books

and learn to read.

To me, it's a new form

of expression of thought.

Out there is the old form.

All over France, in every city...

...there stand cathedrals like this one...

...triumphal monuments of the past.

They tower over the homes

of our people like mighty guardians...

...keeping alive the invincible faith

of the Christians.

Every arch, every column, every statue... a carved leaf out of our history.

A book in stone...

...glorifying the spirit of France.

The cathedrals are the handwriting

of the past...

...the press is of our time...

... and I won't do anything to stop it, Frollo.

Sire, we must break the press

and hang the printer.

For, between them, they will destroy

our old and holy order.

No, I'm not such a fool.

I, for my part, will protect France from

these printed books, as I will protect it...

...from witches, sorcerers and Gypsies...

...the foreign race that is overrunning

all of Europe.

Why do you stop us?

Because no Gypsies can enter Paris

any longer without a permit.

It's the new law.

- Lf the others can enter, why can't we?

- They are Frenchmen. You're Gypsies.

- Foreigners.

- Foreigners.

You came yesterday, we come today.

Let them pass. It's Fools' Day.

Fools' Day or not,

we don't want these foreigners.

Stop her. Catch her.

What's the matter, Hlne?

Grandma, the Hunchback of Notre Dame

just crossed my path.

Go home quickly, and light the candle.

That won't help against Quasimodo.

He's possessed.

Yvonne, aren't you going to the festival

to see the king?

I can't. Mother says there are too many

thieves and beggars in the crowd.

Oh, they'll get you at home just as well.

You'll see.

Well, what's he trying to do?

He has heard it rumored

that the earth is round...

...and is attempting to walk

to the Indies, the idiot.

- It's not round, it's flat.

- The idiot!

Some famous geographers

and mathematicians also believe...

...the earth is round.

- It isn't round, it's flat.

Do you recollect that letter we had from...

What's his name?

Oh, Christopher Columbus...

...who wrote claiming that he could,

by steering a westerly course...

...reach the Indies?

- It's flat.

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Sonya Levien

Sonya Levien (born Sara Opesken; 25 December 1888 – 19 March 1960) was a Russian-born American screenwriter. She became one of the highest earning female screenwriters in Hollywood in the 1930s and would help a number of directors and film stars transition from silent films to talkies. In 1955 she received an Academy Award for her screenplay Interrupted Melody. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Dec. 2020. <>.

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