A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.
C. Aubrey Smith
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.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the great Hollywood films of 1939, this adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel is sumptuously put together, boasting a fine script, tight direction by German export William Dieterle, and a cast who fit their parts perfectly: Charles Laughton superb as the maligned Quasimodo; Maureen O'Hara in an early role as gypsy Esmeralda; Cedric Hardwicke as the pious Frollo; and Harry Davenport as the king, Louis XI.
The story is a version of Beauty and the Beast set within the confines of Notre Dame Cathedral and the dirt-strewn and prejudiced streets of Paris. Quasimodo, physically repulsive and deafened by the bells of the cathedral, nevertheless finds it in his childish heart to love the beautiful Esmeralda and to sacrifice his sanctuary for her. She however only has eyes for the dashing Gringoire (Edmond O'Brien) who she saves from the justice of the beggar thieves.
It is Laughton's performance that holds this film together - truly one of the greatest screen actors, capable of portraying pathos like no other. Contrast this film role with his Henry VIII or Captain Bligh and you begin to get an idea of his impressive range.
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