Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This BBC production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the fifth (at least!) dramatization of Victor Hugo's novel Notre Dame de Paris. It should not confused with the elaborate 1982 TV-movie version starring Anthony Hopkins as deformed hunchbacked bell ringer Quasimodo, if only for one important reason: The BBC version was shot on videotape, then transferred (unsatisfactorily) to film. The Hunchback, usually the star role in most versions of this tale of 15th- century Paris, is played by the relatively unknown Warren Clarke, while the biggest name in the production, British actor Kenneth Haigh, is top-billed as Claude Frollo, Archbishop of Notre Dame. Michelle Newell is gypsy girl Esmerelda, whose strange alliance with Quasimodo motivates the interwoven intrigues of Hugo's story. This Hunchback of Notre Dame was closer to the original than most versions, but because of its ragged pictorial quality was forgotten almost immediately after its American TV debut in July of 1977.
clergy, gypsy, hunchback