In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.
The film that rocketed Lon Chaney from respected character actor to major star, Wallace Worsley’s silent take on Victor Hugo’s deformed-bellringer yarn was an Avatar of its day, an event movie marked by groundbreaking special effects (Chaney’s make-up took three hours to apply) and a stunning evocation of a far-off land (15th century France).
Worsley’s direction is lumbering, but the film thrives because of Chaney’s heart-tugging performance.
An Avatar of its day, an event movie marked by groundbreaking special effects.