The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Celebrate Halloween with a screening of the chilling 1923 silent film classic with the musical score performed live by Dennis James on the Sage Chapel organ. Hunchback was a huge production: the sets depicting 15th century Paris covered nineteen acres of Universal Pictures’ back lot and included the façade of Notre Dame Cathedral. Filming took six months and the climactic sequence employed two thousand extras, but it’s Lon Chaney’s performance that makes the character unforgettable. The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiered at New York’s Astor Theatre on September 2, 1923. The success of the film was immediate; it made Carl Laemmle and Universal Pictures a fortune, and turned Lon Chaney into a screen legend.
This edition is mastered from a multi-tinted 16mm print struck in 1926 from the original camera negative. (The film apparently does not survive in 35mm). Visible wear in the source material is diminished with a moderate amount of digital restoration. It is pictorially much better than earlier video editions and represents the best condition in which this landmark film survives today. This edition was produced by David Shepard and Serge Bromberg.
Cosponsored with the Dept of Music and the Wharton Studio Museum.