Steve Simels
September 27, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Movie - 1939)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
116 minutes
performer
Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Thomas Mitchell, Edmond O'Brien
director
William Dieterle
distributor
RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
genre
Drama

We gave it an A

Along with 1935’s A Tale of Two Cities, this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel stands as Hollywood’s best version of a classic. Every element, from the acting to the sets to Alfred Newman’s Oscar-nominated music to William Dieterle’s expansive direction, is virtually flawless. This new laserdisc transfer does full justice to Joseph August’s breathtaking black-and-white cinematography, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame‘s bonuses — a running commentary by critic Robert Osborne, a making-of featurette starring O’Hara — are informative and fun. Best revelation: The cathedral bells on the soundtrack were recorded at the real Notre Dame. A

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