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The Top 5 movie Quasimodo

Updated on March 26, 2015
Concept of Quasimodo, Disney Version
Concept of Quasimodo, Disney Version

The Top Five Best Movie Quasimodo

From the English title of the book to the universal monster movie, Quasimodo has been at the forefront of the story The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Most modern versions tend to focus on him more than they other characters and even if the title isn’t The Hunchback of Notre Dame it’s either Quasimodo or Hunchback.

It's understandable why though, Quasimodo is such a deeply tragic and compelling character that so many great actors have played him and many more actors want to play him. However which actor has played the role of the tragic bell-ringing hunchback the best?

This page is a look at which Quasimodo in film, and by extension TV movies were included, is the best depiction of the character and just all around memorable character. And because the pool is fairly small on Hunchback that are films that can be watched this is The Top 5 Best Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Since there are always rumors of new versions being made, this list is subject to change, Josh Brolin has talked about making a new version for years.

Have you Read the book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

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Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback
Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback

Number #5

1997 version a.k.a Hunchback, Mandy Patinkin

This version of Quasimodo from the 1997 TV movie Hunchback is another departure from the original Quasimodo. He is likes books and learning but he is also a lot softer and nicer.

Patinkin also gives a very nice emotional performance but where he really exceeds is with the physicality of the role. The real issue with the role is that he isn’t really given a character arc which takes away from the drama of the role. He doesn’t have any edge which even Disney Quasimodo had but he has all the pathos that was in the book. But even with the sadness has the fault of this Quasimodo lies in the writing. He doesn’t try to kidnap Esmeralda which was on Frollo’s order instead he was just trying to help.

Disney Quasimodo
Disney Quasimodo

Number #4

Disney Version

Despite everything the Disney version got wrong, the movie is still entertaining, would have been better without the gargoyles but that is another matter. Quasimodo is the nicest and most friendly Quasimodo to date.

Much like Ariel, he wants to explore a world he has only dreamed about and is being kept from. This is a standard character type for Disney but it does help children relate more to character than if he was a morose misanthropic, deaf recluse who loves a shallow teenage and whose whole being is a church.

The Disney version is a memorable character as he nice but he does change as he learns to stand out to adoptive father, Frollo who verbal abused him for two decades. You get on his side and you want to see him succeed , so even though he didn’t get the girl when he is finally accepted by the common people it is very satisfying.

Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo, 1982 Version
Anthony Hopkins as Quasimodo, 1982 Version

Number #3

1982 version, Anthony Hopkins

So often with the movie version the Quasimodo tend to follow another actors performance, which spoiler we’ll get to, that is the case the 1997 version and with 1982 Tv movie. The 1982 Quasimodo is sympathetic and very humanized. Much like the 1997 version he doesn’t have a lot of edge or malice to his personality. He does however follow the orders of his Frollo.

This Quasimodo does however insert a little good nature humor into his lines which connect him more to the audience and give him his human edge.

 Lon Chaney as Quasimodo, 1923 Version
Lon Chaney as Quasimodo, 1923 Version

Number #2

1923 version, Lon Chaney

The 1923 version is also often referred to as the Lon Chaney version. As it stands Chaney’s depiction of Quasimodo is the closest to the book. He has pathos but he has the same morose anger that he has in the book. Chaney also give an exuberant psychically performance which is needed for a silent movie and was the style of acting at the time.

The trouble with Chaney and with the version as a whole is that their isn’t a strong emotion core which leads to some what muddle movie experience. Also Chaney’s Quasimodo also comes off more like a sweet puppy in many scenes than than the tragic figure of the novel. Still Chaney does give a great performance as Quasimodo.

Charles Laughton as Quasimodo, 1939 Version
Charles Laughton as Quasimodo, 1939 Version

Number #1

1939 version, Charles Laughton

It was mentioned before that most actors who play Quasimodo follow another actor’s portrayal of the role. That would be Charles Laughton version in the 1939 version. Laughton was the first notable Quasimodo that gave the role an sympathetic tone. This gave his real pathos and you could feel every emotion Laughton gave through the make-up. Laughton does have the same level of physicality that Chaney, Patinkin or even the Disney version exhibits but he more than makes up for it with his mannerism and the over-all sense of style he brings to the to the role.

Also the ending is fare more tragic than just him simply dying which is pretty much the ending for Quasimodo in the book though the execution is vastly different. In the 1939 version Quasimodo live but unlike the Disney version where he get accepted by society and has new friends, the 1939 version is left alone regretting that he even has emotions, isn’t that tragic?

Do you like the character of Quasimodo?

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Which version of Quasimodo is your Favorite?

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