Quasimodo (Sir Anthony Hopkins), the hunchback bellringer of Notre Dame’s cathedral meets a beautiful gypsy dancer, Esmeralda (Lesley-Anne Down), and falls in love with her. So does Quasimodo’s guardian, the archdeacon of the cathedral, Dom Claude Frollo (Sir Derek Jacobi), and a poor street poet. But Esmeralda’s in love with a handsome soldier. But when a mob mistakes her for a witch, it’s up to Quasimodo to rescue her and claim sanctuary for her in the cathedral.
User Reviews: I had been looking forward to watch this film after reading reviews praising the acts of Derek Jacobi and whatnot, but was disappointed. His Frollo seems very detached from Esmeralda, even with his talent, it doesn’t connect.
Also, this Esmeralda is laughable. The hair is hilariously 80s and doesn’t work. Nothing against the actor.
The one that saves this rating from even being a 6 is Quasimodo. Unfortunately we don’t see a lot of him until the last half (sort of like the book), where we almost get to see more development of him but hardly see any from anyone, not even Q with Frollo. The only good scene would be the aftermath of the flogging and Quasimodo talking to Esmeralda in the tower (but only Quasimodo’s dialogue, a nice touch being it’s mostly lines from the book).
The ending got to me, I will admit. Hopkins does a stellar job. One of the better adaptations, but wouldn’t be so quick to recommend. Watch the 1997 version if you’re looking for a modern live-action Hunchback.