Today! Because I’m deaf, you know, but I can hear the bells –
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Directed by William Dieterle
Starring Charles Laughton (x3), Maureen O’Hara (x2), Cedric Hardwicke (x2), Edmond O’Brien (x3), Thomas Mitchell, Alan Marshal (x2), George Zucco (x2), Harry Davenport, Katherine Alexander, Walter Hampden, Arthur Hohl (x2), Barlowe Borland (x2), Rondo Hatton
Like many high schoolers going through a classic literature/stage and screen musicals/black-and-white horror movie phase, I got way into versions of Hunchback circa 1996. Now sure, you can rightly ascribe this to Disney’s ballsy animated musical being released that year, but I was also two years removed from reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, so I had landmark French novels on the brain. And yes, reading Les Miserables was probably spurred on by my exposure to the musical, but I’m pretty confident I read the book first. Is that still a thing? People wanting to read the book before seeing a movie/TV version of something? I don’t always do it, but I’ve also delayed seeing movies for years because of this. I didn’t see V for Vendetta until like three years ago, because I had the graphic novel and couldn’t get around to reading it. And I’ve preemptively read a bunch of books and then not bothered seeing the movie if the trailers looked stupid (I’ll get around to watching Mortal Engines one of these days, I figure).