The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956 film)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (in French Notre-Dame de Paris) is a 1956 French-Italian CinemaScope film version of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel, directed by Jean Delannoy and produced by Raymond Hakim and Robert Hakim. It stars American actor Anthony Quinn and Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida. The film is the first version of the novel to be made in color.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
French theatrical release poster
Directed byJean Delannoy
Produced byRaymond Hakim
Robert Hakim
Written byVictor Hugo (novel)
Jean Aurenche
Jacques Prévert
Ben Hecht
Based onThe Hunchback of Notre Dame
by Victor Hugo
StarringGina Lollobrigida
Anthony Quinn
Jean Danet
Alain Cuny
Robert Hirsch
Music byGeorges Auric
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
CinematographyMichel Kelber
Edited byHenri Taverna
Distributed byAllied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release date
November 23, 1956 (1956-11-23)
Running time
115 minutes
Budget$1 million
Box office$2.25 million (US and Canadian rentals)[1]

In the tradition of many sword and sandal spectacles, Quinn and Lollobrigida are the only two actors in the film who actually speak in English; the rest of the cast is made up of French actors who have had their voices dubbed into English.

Anthony Quinn's portrayal of the hunchback Quasimodo is more human and less horrific than most other portrayals. Instead of having a huge hump and a hideously deformed face, he only has a small curve in his spine and a slightly deformed face.


The film is one of the few adaptations to use Victor Hugo's original ending; although Esmeralda is killed by a stray arrow rather than hanged. Esmeralda's last words were: "Life is wonderful" ("C'est beau, la vie"). A voiceover narration tells us at the end that several years afterward, an excavation group finds the skeletons of Quasimodo and Esmeralda intertwined in an embrace.



The film was the biggest grosser in Paris in the 1956-1957 season with a gross of $603,000[2] on admissions of 1,064,061.[3] It had the third most admissions in France for films released in 1956 with 5,687,222 admissions.[4]

The film earned rentals of $2.25 million in the United States and Canada.[1]

Comic book adaption


  1. "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. "Yank Pix High on Paris List of Hit Films". Variety. June 19, 1957. p. 15. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  3. "Notre-Dame de Paris". JP's Box Office. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  4. "Les Entrees En France Anee 1956". JP's Box Office. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  5. "Dell Four Color #854". Grand Comics Database.
  6. Dell Four Color #854 at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
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