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The Hunchback of
Notre Dame

(1923)
 

In one of his most-famous roles, Lon Chaney portrays another of the character roles that dubbed him The Man of a Thousand Faces — the hunchbacked bellringer of Victor Hugo’s famous French novel. The first of several feature film adaptations, this remains the version that for many people first comes to mind and is considered the one against which all others are compared.

Lon Chaney attempted for a number of years to convince investors or a studio to back a film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it was known from the beginning that it would be an expensive film to make, with the requisite sets, extras and historical costuming. From the late teens and into the twenties, Chaney continued to make more modestly-budgeted films, hoping to one day find the right people to help realize his dream project. Universal’s Irving Thalberg eventually championed the film to management and bankers alike, convinced that Chaney’s production would be the perfect prestige vehicle to raise Universal’s standing in industry and public perception.

With a production budget that eventually topped a million dollars, Universal pressed forward with the construction of a nine-acre complex of large-scale sets intended to recreate the streets of medieval Paris. With the money budgeted for settings and, eventually, for unprecedented large-scale night photography, other facets of the production suffered from budgetary constraints. A number of Universal staff directors were proposed to Chaney, who had retained some creative control over some production decisions. Most of the Universal directors were B-film craftsmen, and not the stylish artiste that Chaney envisioned. Perhaps the eccentric Tod Browning, who had directed Chaney in Outside the Law (1920) for Universal and would later become a key creative force in Chaney’s later films, was among those considered. Intriguingly, Erich von Stroheim was briefly considered, and Chaney tried to get Universal to come to terms with Frank Borzage or Raoul Walsh, who would soon direct Douglas Fairbanks’ mammoth The Thief of Bagdad (1924). However, eventually, Wallace Worsley was signed on to direct — likely because he had recently worked with Chaney on a few films, including The Penalty (1920), at the Goldwyn studio. With the casting of Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Ernest Torrence, Brandon Hurst, Nigel de Brulier and Tully Marshall in key roles, production began in 1922.

In 15th century Paris, there is an uneasy ebb and flow of peace between the upper classes and the people of the Parisian streets. In such a time, opportunists rise, as is the case of the politically manipulative Jehan (Hurst) and rabble-rousing Clopin (Torrence). Years ago, Clopin bought an infant girl from gypsies and raised her as Esmeralda (Miller), forcing her to perform in the streets as a dancer for money. In the Notre Dame, a hunchbacked bellringer, the deaf and half-blind Quasimodo (Chaney), assists in the caretaking of the cathedral. His contempt for the masses in the streets far below the parapets of the church roof is borne of years of social rejection, his sanctuary is the lofty and lonely roof of the ornate building.

Cruelly crowned the King of Fools during a street festival by Clopin and his horde, Quasimodo first sees Esmeralda, who openly expresses repugnance at the sight of the deformed bellringer. In a reversal of circumstance, Esmeralda is instantly smitten at the sight of Phoebus (Kerry), a captain of the guard, who has a growing reputation of dalliances with the women he encounters. In another opportunity for amorous conquest, Phoebus sets his customary sights on Esmeralda until he his striken with conscience at the tale of her orphaned upbringing and the mysterious amulet that she has worn round her neck since she was a child. Unknown the neither of them is the truth that she was born into a privileged family, only to be kidnapped by gypsies as an infant. From a seed of regret for his frivolous designs on her, Phoebus’ love for Esmeralda grows quickly.

Meanwhile, the scheming Jehan has been continously manipulating Clopin, hoping to incite a sweeping civil war against the upper classes that might place him in a position of power. As Clopin’s hatred rises, it is directed at Phoebus, who is on the verge of spiriting away his beloved street dancer and young would-be paramour. In recognition of the danger to his life, Esmeralda sacrifices her happiness to save Phoebus from Clopin and his street army, returning after a brief taste of society to her former life. But, Clopin is not the only lustful goat with designs on Esmeralda. In his twisted melodramatically-motivated thinking, Jehan envisions her obediently at his side as he rules a class-down France, taken by force by the headless hordes from the ineffectual King Louis XI (Marshall).

In the middle of the machinations Quasimodo is caught, betrayed by Jehan, in whom he has trusted. The hunchback’s penalty is a whip-thrashing — in one of the film’s most-memorable scenes — he becomes an object of public humiliation and suffers cruel pain until Esmeralda, herself viciously tongue-lashed by the insane crone who is in reality her own mother (again, unknown to either), eases that pain by giving him the water he deliriously craves with kind empathy.

Seeing an opportunity to incite Clopin to lead revolution, Jehan manipulates the street-general’s feelings for Esmeralda while seeking also to destroy Phoebus. He knives the soldier in the back during the couple’s evening garden tete-a-tete. Arrested for Phoebus’ attack, and forced to confess, Esmeralda is given a moment to express penance at the doors of Notre Dame on her way to prison, and is seen by Quasimodo, who scampers down the church walls and plucks her from her military escort. Held inside safely under rules of sanctuary, Esmeralda is cared for by the hunchback and the priest (de Brulier), while Jehan lies and manipulates the situation into a full-bore class revolution, all under the guise of rescuing her from the oppressive ruling class.

The siege on the church is largely thwarted single-handedly by Quasimodo, the by-product of which is the impending death of Clopin. But, seeking an rapacious opportunity, Jehan attacks Esmeralda, who is again rescued by the hunchback. Carried away by Quasimodo, Jehan manages to mortally wound him before being thrown from the church roof to the rabble-filled streets that being cleared by the Phoebus-led guards below. Soothed by the thought that he has saved Esmeralda and that she is successfully reunited with Phoebus, Quasimodo crawls to his beloved bells before the last of life ebbs away.

It is certainly one of the best-known of silent films, but, does The Hunchback of Notre Dame hold up today? The direction of Wallace Worsley is not distinguished here, being utilitarian at best. Chaney is allowed to mug his way through some of his otherwise fine performance. And his groundbreaking makeup looks inexcusably primitive now to modern eyes. (A case in point is the body suit worn over Chaney’s prosthetic hump in the flogging sequence.) Sections of the film plod forward, and some of the acting is over-baked. But, the costars of the film — the large and historically-detailed sets — are lovingly presented in long and deep (but static) shots that are unusual among the cinematic fare of the time. The night photography — terribly expensive and logistically difficult in the silent era — imparts a sense of realism, but Worsley’s choice of camera angles and lenses works against the energetic intent. So, while it is out-and-out dull at times, the film is far more interesting to modern audiences for its attempts at creating something greater than the usual early 1920s Hollywood output than for its actual results. — Carl Bennett

2014 Flicker Alley Blu-ray Disc edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), color-tinted black & white, 110 minutes, not rated,
with Alas and Alack (1915), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0033,
UPC 6-17311-67849-3, ISBN 1-893967-67849-84-0.
Pillarboxed 16:9 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc, Regions ABC, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard BD keepcase, $44.95.
BD release date: 11 March 2014.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 9 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.
This Blu-ray Disc edition has been prepared by home video producers David Shepard and Serge Bromberg with a new high-definition video transfer from a color-tinted 16mm reduction print that was duplicated from the camera negative in 1926.

This Blu-ray Disc edition is virtually identical to the 2007 Image DVD edition below. The chief difference is that this BD edition is presented in full pillarboxed format, where the DVD edition was presented with a slight windowboxing of the picture. Of course, even if prepared from the same HD transfer, this BD edition is slightly sharper in image detail than its sister DVD edition. Much of what was said about the Image DVD edition's visually quality and content still applies here. Also, we suspect that the difference in running times between this BD and the DVD editions is a slightly faster frame rate in the video transfer. The running speed is still a natural movement pace.

The film is accompanied by an orchestral and pipe organ music score compiled by Donald Hunsberger, arranged and conducted by Robert Israel.

Full-length audio commentary by Chaney expert Michael F. Blake is available on the secondary audio track. As opposed to commentary by academics, Blake’s information is delivered with informality and the enthusiasm of one who honestly loves films. One could imagine watching the film at home, with Blake chattering about the film in a chair at one’s side. Blake regales us with memories of conversations with Patsy Ruth Miller, Burt Lancaster and others about the film and Chaney’s makeup and performance as Quasimodo.

The supplementary material includes audio commentary by Chaney expert Michael F. Blake; an early Lon Chaney short, presented in standard resolution, the incomplete Alas and Alack (1915) which is missing its ending; footage of Chaney on the Hunchback set (2 minutes — standard definition); and an HD gallery of stills and advertising materials (more than 100 images). Also included is an insert booklet reproduction of the 1923 souvenir program book. The stereoscopic (3D) material that was available in the DVD edition has been excised from this Blu-ray Disc edition.

This Blu-ray Disc is our recommended home video edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you prefer BD over DVD, then this is certainly the one to go with. Until a 35mm print is recovered, the film will probably not look any better on home video than it does here.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Regions ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
2007 Image Entertainment DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), color-tinted black & white, 116 minutes, not rated,
with Alas and Alack (1915), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID3046DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-30462-6.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 8 Mbps average video bit rate, 224 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 22 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $24.99.
DVD release date: 9 October 2007.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 9 / additional content: 6 / overall: 7.

Beyond a doubt, this new Image edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the best-available version on DVD home video. Producers David Shepard and Serge Bromberg have prepared a new high-definition video transfer from an “original” color-tinted print, a 16mm reduction print that was struck in 1926, which is still quite scuffed, dusty and speckled. However, when compared to the dire quality of previous home video editions, the results here are stunning.

The difference in runnning time between this and the previous Image edition is in the slower, natural pacing of the video transfer, which is also framed slightly more open than the 1999 edition, generally showing a sliver more picture information at the top of the frame and more at the sides and bottom. The source material — while not in excellent condition — holds more image detail, with a far more-defined grayscale range in shadowy quartertones and retained detail in most of the highlights, than is seen in legion 16mm prints that are commonly available. Some flaws seen in those prints are not present in this edition’s source print while other flaws are common to both, which may indicate that all readily-available duplicates originate from the same source print. Also notable is the greater level of image stability in this source print over that utilized for the previous Image edition, which had far more examples of picture wandering within the frame. While the intertitles artwork is identical between the two source prints, this edition’s main title appears to be the earlier artwork of the two.

There are differences between this new Image edition and the 1999 edition. There are brief sections of footage, seen here, that are missing from the previous edition, all likely due to splices: beginning at 17:17, the Bastille exterior shot in the 2007 edition print is a daylight shot, while the 1999 edition print at 14:30 utilizes a night shot with exterior lighting that appears to have been inserted from later in the film (as seen at 1:25:19); at 37:36, there is approximately 11 seconds of footage and an intertitle; at 43:16, there is approximately 7 seconds of footage and an intertitle; at 50:01, there is 1 second of an additional crowd shot; at 57:43, there are approximately 2.5 seconds of an additional shot; at 60:56, the scene-ending shot is extended by 4 seconds; at 72:12, there is an additional shot lasting approximately 2 seconds; at 86:13, there is an additional shot lasting approximately 7 seconds and about 3 seconds of the beginning of a medium shot of Chaney; at 1:02:38, the beginning of the shot is seen, amounting to about 1 extra second of footage; at 1:16:17 can be seen the original ending title card; all not seen in the 1999 edition. With all that having been said, this new edition also has missing footage: at 62:37, the ending of the shot of Esmeralda and her friend (seen at 51:57 in the old edition) is missing, amounting to approximately 3 seconds of footage; at 89:42, there is a missing shot of Esmeralda (seen at 1:14:32 in the old edition), amounting to approximately 5 seconds; and at 93:15, the remainder of the shot of Quasimodo on the bell (seen at 1:17:30 in the old edition) is missing, amounting to about 4 seconds of footage.

The film is accompanied by an orchestral and pipe organ music score compiled by Donald Hunsberger, arranged and conducted by Robert Israel, and presented in digital stereo.

Full-length audio commentary by Chaney expert Michael F. Blake is available on the secondary audio track. As opposed to commentary by academics, Blake’s information is delivered with informality and the enthusiasm of one who honestly loves films. One could imagine watching the film at home, with Blake chattering about the film in a chair at one’s side. Blake regales us with memories of conversations with Patsy Ruth Miller, Burt Lancaster and others about the film and Chaney’s makeup and performance as Quasimodo. We have a minor problem with Blake’s mispronunciation of some proper names, but whaddya gonna do?

The supplemental section includes an early Lon Chaney short, the incomplete Alas and Alack (1915) which is missing its ending, in addition to footage of Chaney on the Hunchback set (2 minutes), a gallery of stills and advertising materials (72 images), and stereoscopic production stills (20 images, 3D glasses included). Also included is a reduced-scale facsimile reproduction of the original souvenir program, and an essay by Blake.

Forget all the other substandard editions noted below, this edition is the one that we enthusiastically recommend on DVD home video. If you are still on the fence about moving to Blu-ray Disc and you are uncertain about whether to choose the BD or DVD editions, you may consider this DVD edition. There is little difference in visual quality other than the extra image resolution that Blu-ray Disc affords.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
1999 Image Entertainment DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), color-toned black & white, 97 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID5874DSDVD, 0-14381-58742-5.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 5.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 18 chapter stops, snapper DVD case, $24.99.
DVD release date: 9 March 1999.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 5.

This David Shepard home video production features a slightly-windowboxed video transfer that was originally prepared in 1990 for VHS videotape and later released on laserdisc. The disc’s packaging states that it has been transferred from a tinted print struck in 1924 from Universal’s duplicate negative of the domestic release, although the image quality of this color-toned print says otherwise with its soft image detail that has the qualities of a 16mm reduction print. A few shots appear to have been transferred from another source print. The most annoying quality of the presentation are two hairs caught in the transfer gate, first the bottom then the top of the frame, during the first half-hour of the film. This early-production DVD also features poor MPEG-2 video compression, with still frames full of smeary artifacts, which does little to hold the qualities of the source print. At 35:55 there are approximately 4 seconds of footage that repeats what has been seen just before.

The orchestral music score (with limited sound effects) accompanying the film appears to have been originally recorded for Blackhawk Films’ theatrical preservation prints and nontheatrical reduction prints. The sound quality indicates that the original recordings and not a print’s optical soundtrack have been used for audio mastering. Occasionally, however, pop and crackles in the audio sound suspiciously like the music and sound effects have been lifted from LP records.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2005 Digiview Entertainment DVD edition

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) [1929 rerelease version], black & white, 106 minutes, not rated,
with The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 101 minutes, not rated.

Digiview Entertainment, MV-956, UPC 8-72322-00753-7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 6 chapter stops, slimline DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 2005.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 4 / additional content: 4 / overall: 4.

This double-feature edition is virtually identical to the other cheapy editions noted above. Yeah, it’s still watchable, like the others, but this video transfer from a 16mm reduction print is compromized by the shortcomings of the source print like a flat grayscale range and course image details. The overcompression of the video information on the disc further compromises the quality.

Like the others noted below, this disc isn’t horrible but the new Image edition noted above would be a far better choice than this.
2002 Catcom Home Video DVD edition

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) [1929 rerelease version], black & white, 79 minutes, not rated,
with The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 101 minutes, not rated.

Catcom Home Video, CAT0147-6, UPC 7-41914-01476-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 3 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 4 / additional content: 3 / overall: 4.

This edition is pretty much on a quality par with the other budget editions noted here, being transferred from the same source material, which is flat and quite worn. The image detail is a little soft.

The film is accompanied by the orchestral music score from the source print’s optical soundtrack, as in the Image, Alpha and Front Row editions noted above.

The disc also includes a Disney Oswald cartoon, a contrasty Felix the Cat cartoon, a Winsor McCay cartoon fragment lifted directly from the Lumivision edition (music and all), and television commercials.

A watchable disc, but far from ideal.
2002 Alpha Video DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 101 minutes, not rated.

Alpha Video, ALP3195D, UPC 0-89218-31959-3.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered disc, DVD Region 0, 4.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 5 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.98.
DVD release date: 19 February 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 4 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This budget Alpha Video edition has been prepared from a good 16mm reduction print, with a flat grayscale tonal range, soft detail, speckling, dust, and the constant emulsion scuffing of the worn print from which the reduction print was prepared. Surviving prints of this film have never looked great, but we must be happy to be able to view this film at all. The full-frame video transfer appears to hold the tonal range and image detail of the source print, and is openly framed to allow most of the intertitles to be read without being cropped off, but is probably a little flatter than it should be. The length of the presentation is 101 minutes, not the 110 minutes listed on the packaging.

The film is accompanied by the source print’s orchestral music score, which is the same as the Image edition above — indicating that the source print for the transfer was a Blackhawk Films 16mm reduction print. The sound quality, like the visual quality, is flatter than the Image edition.

While the picture and sound quality is something less than the Image edition, it has been prepared from nearly identical materials. Ultimately this disc is watchable, and since budget discs are the only editions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame that are currently in print, they may be your only choice for now if you are looking to add the film to your home video collection.

 
USA: Click the logomark at right to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase helps support the Silent Era website.
2003 Front Row Entertainment DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 101 minutes, not rated.

Front Row Entertainment, 3740, UPC 0-82554-37402-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered disc, DVD Region 0, 4.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 8 chapter stops, slimline DVD keepcase, $5.98.
DVD release date: 2003.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 4 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

We admit that we don’t like Front Row product, but the video transfer for this edition of Hunchback appears to be identical to the Alpha Video edition. The only differences between the two discs that we could detect is the result of separate MPEG-2 encoding. It is possible that Front Row did not produce their own video transfer, but instead purchased the rights to utilize an existing transfer. The source print is identical is its grayed flatness, and the musical accompaniment is the same.

The mono soundtrack is not in 5.1 surround sound, despite what Front Row would have consumers believe from their deceptive packaging. The length of the presentation is 101 minutes, not the 133 minutes listed on the disc’s packaging.

This is one of the few watchable Front Row silent film discs.
2005 Signet Classics DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 140 minutes, not rated.

Signet Classics, no catalog number, UPC 9-781596-09171-9, ISBN 1-5960-9171-1.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 32 chapter stops, envelope within trade paperback, $14.95.
DVD release date: 2005
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 7 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This DVD and book combination intended for budget-minded consumers who will respond to value-added products, being a trade paperback copy of Signet’s 1960s Walter J. Cobb translation of the Victor Hugo novel and a DVD copy of the Lon Chaney film, proves once again that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The book itself is worth the purchase price, but it is a pity that this DVD edition will be some people’s first and only exposure to this film.

The natural-speed video transfer is cropped too tightly on an already tight 16mm reduction print of barely good quality, being contrasty, slightly warped and quite worn. The edges of some intertitles will be cut off on some television monitors. The DVD video data has been over-compressed, presumably to fit a long program on a single-layered disc, producing smeary image details and shifting picture elements that move about in delayed response to action within the frame and even the jittering of the print.

We cannot account for the long running time of this edition compared to others noted above; not without an A/B comparison. The film does not appear to be transferred at a slower pace than other editions and yet does not appear to have additional footage.

The presentation is accompanied by a piano music score composed and performed by Steve Sterner, and it is a pity that this above-average performance should accompany one of the lowest-quality editions of this film.

Within the book is a supplemental essay entitled “Fact, Fiction, and Film” William R. Pace discussing the adaptation of the novel to film (11 pages). The film is introduced by Susannah Gora in an amateurishly-produced video segment apparently shot in the backyard of a modest home, with Gora appearing to hold up varied pieces of wrought iron patio decor.

Don't buy this set for the disc. One is advised to buy a good edition of the novel and the newest Image DVD edition of the film, as noted above.
2004 Delta Entertainment DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), color-tinted black & white, 97 minutes, not rated.

Delta Entertainment, 82 375, UPC 0-18111-23759-8.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered disc, DVD Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, PCM 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 12 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.99.
DVD release date: 24 February 2004.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 4 / additional content: 0 / overall: 3.

Among awful editions, this budget edition is one of the worst. Windowbox transferred at sound speed from an analog videotape copy of the same modern synchronized sound print as for those budget editions noted above, image details are blurry and contrasty, the picture is turned about 2 degrees counterclockwise, and the color-tinting is inconsistent.

Bound to be a disappointment to anyone.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
200? Reel Classic DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Reel Classics, unknown catalog number, no UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, PCM 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $20.00.
DVD release date: 200?
Country of origin: USA
This DVD-R edition has been transferred from a 16mm reduction print.

The presentation features a musical accompaniment composed and performed by Ben Model.

 
This disc is available in Region 0 NTSC directly from REEL CLASSICS.
2004 Digiview Productions DVD edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), black & white, 101 minutes, not rated.

Digiview Productions, MV-537, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered disc, DVD Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, slimline DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
DVD release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA
These cheap editions keep proliferating like cockroaches. Don’t expect much from these discs that pop up on eBay and in low-ball stores like WalMart and Walgreen’s. The disc has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.
Other silent era LON CHANEY films available on home video.

Other HORROR FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Read an interview with Chaney historian Michael F. Blake on The Digital Bits website
 
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