Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1923) Movie Script

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, the Cathedral Church of Paris
... a spiritual haven in a
brutal age ... a sanctuary
where the persecuted could
find protection.
The enduring
monument of a
mighty faith.
It was in the broad
cathedral square that
the people met to
The Festival of
Fools ...
The one day of the
year when the people,
crushed by tyranny, gave
themselves to unrestrained
Ten years before Columbus
discovered America, there
dwelt within the rocky fastness
of the cathedral a creature
whom the Parisians of that
day knew as "the Hunchback
of Notre Dame"-
Deaf - half-blind - shut
off from his fellow-
men by his deformities the
bells were the only voice of
his groping soul.
To the townspeople he
was an inhuman freak,
a monstrous joke of Nature-
and for their jeers he gave
them bitter scorn and hate.
His most Christian
Majesty, Louis
XI.-a crafty oppressor
of his people, whose
dungeons were always
full, whose executioners
always busy.
"We like not this ribaldry.
It savors of disrespect to
both God and King."
And Paris had an
uncrowned monarch-
Clopin, "The King of Beggars"
-the enemy of kings.
Dom Claude, the saintly
Arch-deacon of Notre
The Cathedral also
sheltered the Arch-
deacon's brother, Jehan, who
had foresworn a priest's robes
for more worldly garb-
"So even you bow your head
to my reverend brother!"
"Our day is coming - when
we'll bow our heads to no
"That freak is my slave. He
will be useful to us.
"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!"
Esmeralda, a child of
mystery, whom Clopin
had bought from Gypsies
and raised as his own.
"Cursed gypsy! Daughter of
Satan! Hell take you-"
Marie, Queen of
the Gypsies.
"That poor, mad creature was
once rich and happy-"
"While she was away-"
"Her child was never found.
She secludes herself in this
dark place, and lives but to
curse and pray."
"Give her back to me, O Lord
-if only for a moment. Give
me back my baby!"
The festival continued
on into the night.
Gringoire, a poet of
the streets.
The climax of the Festival
came when the ugliest
man in Paris was crowned
King of the Fools.
"Let Esmeralda dance!
Call her out!"
"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!"
Clopin's fierce heart
burned at the injustice
of the world; but it became
tender only to his foster-
With the noise of the
revelling mob still
ringing in his ears King Louis
tried to find peace in his
favorite lodging place, the
fortress of the Bastille.
"Send in that young rascal,
Phoebus de Chateaupers."
Phoebus de Chateaupers.
Men yielded to his sword
-and women to his smile.
"This commission makes you
Captain of our Guard. You
see how we reward loyalty
to the King and watchfulness
over his safety."
The home of Madame
de Gondelaurier.
Fleur de Lys, fiancee of
Captain Phoebus.
"Fie! I know your reputation.
You would say as much to
any maiden."
Madame de Gondelaurier,
aunt of Fleur de Lys.
"Phoebus - see that
pretty goat."
"Very pretty - indeed!"
"Your company is waiting
at the barracks!"
"Au revoir!"
To Esmeralda, this dashing
soldier had long been
the Prince Charming of her
Each time that Jehan
beheld Esmeralda he
longed to possess her.
Jehan knew the lonely
streets where Esmeralda
had to pass on her way
"Tie up this varlet!"
Alas, for man's
"It isn't safe for a pretty
child like you to be out
alone at this hour!"
"I am not afraid - now!"
The Court of Miracles -
the city of thieves - a
hideous blot on the face of
Paris - a sink from whence
escaped every morning, and to
which returned to stagnate
every night, that stream of
vice and vagrancy which ever
flows through the streets of
a capital.
Called the Court of
Miracles, because
here the "blind" saw-
... because here the
"lame" walked ...
It was here that Clopin
reigned supreme.
At the sign of the
Pomme d'Eve.
"Just a bit of supper - a sip
of wine - before we say
For Phoebus it was just
another girl to hold in
his arms. For Esmeralda it
was a golden dream come
"Then it is true - what the
fortune-teller told me -"
"... that I should be wooed
by a noble Captain of the
"It was put about my neck
by mother, I scarce remember
her. But I know that so long
as I wear it, no harm can
befall me."
"If mademoiselle will permit
me, I shall see her safely
on her way."
Those who strayed near
the Court of Miracles
were in danger of losing
their lives - Gringoire lost
his clothes.
"Here is a spy of the
aristocrats. We found him
at our very threshold."
"Who are you?"
"Merely a poet, a singer of
sweet songs ... by name.
"What shall we do with this
singer of sweet songs?"
"Hang him! Hang him!
That's what the aristocrats
do to us!"
"Have you so little misery
that you must create more?"
"Cut him down, I say!"
The hunchback, for the
attempted crime of
kidnapping, had his first
taste of the King's justice.
"For that, add twenty lashes
to his punishments!"
Again was a slave to
suffer for his master's
"... for nocturnal attack
and disturbing the peace of
His Majesty, our King."
Swift run the sands of
life except in the
hour of pain.
Thus was "Justice"
rendered in the
reign of King Louis XI !
"I thirst!"
"Cursed gypsy! You should
be whipped!"
To celebrate the honor
conferred by King
Louis upon Captain Phoebus,
Madame de Gondelaurier gives
a ball.
"Where is that young
jackanapes, Phoebus?"
"The ball in honor of my
promotion takes place tonight.
You promised to go with me."
"But - my clothes!"
"I have prepared
for that."
In Quasimodo's soul was
born a bitter hatred for
his betrayer.
"Esmeralda! --- The Captain
of the Guards!" ---
"Be calm-"
"Be calm, my lord, and do
not stir - 'Tis he who is
entrapped by her!"
"An aristocrat has taken our
Esmeralda. To the rescue!"
"You are fairer than any
lady in France!"
"Her Highness, Princess
of Egypt!"
"She descends from a line
more ancient than that of
the Kings of France."
"I have a message for
Captain Phoebus - I am
commanded to bring it
to his own hands."
"Hold your blades! Our
quarrel is with only one
of you - this time!"
"There he is--!"
"Stop! This is my affair-
and mine alone!"
"What do you mean by
this outrage?"
"Do you think you can take
our Esmeralda for your
plaything? Leave her alone
-or I'll slit your throat!"
"But I tell you,
I love her!"
"-for my sake!"
"My place is with my people.
I do not belong here."
"Keep to your own
"Esmeralda, would you forsake
me now? Did you not
promise to be my bride?"
"I do not love you."
"You nobles have lorded it
over us and trampled on us
-but you can't do it forever."
Just when Phoebus had
decided that life held
no further interest ...
Monsieur Phoebus de Chateauper
could heal a broken heart
before a last farewell, let
him come to Notre-Dame
this eve at Angelus.
"She saved my life in the
Court of Miracles."
"And you saved my life by
bringing me this message.
Let me command this honor
of the Prince of Poets."
"She gave you the letter
with her own hand?"
Slowly it dawned on
Clopin that he was
losing Esmeralda.
"As if the cursed aristocrats
were not enough, the girl
now talks of taking the veil."
"I will give myself to the
Blessed Virgin - and She
will give me peace!"
"What say you then? Half
of the treasure of Notre Dame
to you - for the hand of
Esmeralda in marriage."
"See you - 'tis gold that
makes kings and keeps them
on their thrones."
"Gold - gold and steel! My
people in the places of the
"Strike quickly, then, else the
treasure may be gone."
"The hour for an uprising is
not yet! There lacks the
spark to make my people
"Phoebus, it was only to see
you once more - and say
"Dear heart, can you not see?
I must give you up for your
own sake - for your future!
Even your life itself!"
"You speak of trifles when
Heaven itself is at stake."
"By this sacred emblem
I plight my troth."
Again the King's
"Girl! Do you persist in
denying that you stabbed
Phoebus de Chateaupers?"
"Of course I deny it! How
could I? I love him more
than my own life!"
"It was he - he who
stabbed Phoebus!"
"The girl is bewitched!"
"Put her to the question!"
The "question" - the
system of the Middle
Ages to force confession.
"Do you still deny-?"
"I do - I love him!
I love him!"
"I confess ... I confess!
I confess to anything
you wish!"
Through nights of delirium,
Phoebus of Chateaupers
wondered if the charge brought
against Esmeralda were true
-whether it was she who
stabbed him.
"Monsieur, the brother of the
Archdeacon inquires the health
of Captain Phoebus."
"The wench who stabbed you
has confessed her crime. She
has been ordered hanged."
"I come to get Esmeralda."
"She has been carried to
prison by his Majesty's
"I'll get her if I have to tear
down Notre Dame rock by
"You - in the robes
of the Church!"
"Only in these robes could
I pass the prison-guard.
Quick - come with me!"
"I'd rather die!"
"Phoebus died of his wound
last night. I promised him
to save you!"
"Oh, Esmeralda, pity me! All
I have done was for love
of you!"
"Very well, then hang!"
Suddenly the date for
Esmeralda's execution
was secretly set ahead, and
orders came to the hunchback
to toll the death-knell.
For what poor soul he
rang, he did not know.
When the great bell
tolled like that, all
Paris knew some prisoner
was on the way to
"Let me kill the gypsy! Her
life for the life of my child!"
"Cursed gypsy! Cursed-
"My baby! My baby!
Save her, O God!"
"Requiescat in pace!"
A pleasant diversion for
the workmen who were
repairing the Cathedral.
"... and first appear on the
steps of the Cathedral of
Notre Dame ... there to do
"Sanctuary! Sanctuary!"
"Would you violate the sacred
law of Sanctuary?"
All Quasimodo knew was
that this girl had once
been kind to him.
"My daughter, the law of
sanctuary protects you pend-
ing an appeal. Until then,
Mother Church will give you
shelter and clothing."
The night had brought a
dreamless sleep.
Esmeralda's presence
inspired Quasimodo
to express his wild joy in
the only way he knew.
With plans all made for
rescuing Esmeralda on
her way tot he gallows, Clopin
was awaiting the day that
had been announced for the
"They feared an uprising to
rescue Esmeralda. To prevent
bloodshed the King suddenly
ordered he hanged today!"
"The hour has struck. They
are about to surrender the
maid to the officers of the
"Hear me, you two-legged
cattle, and learn how to
become men. Were you not
also born of women after the
manner of kings?"
"Long enough the aristocrats
have treated us as sheep.
We'll show them - we are
"Follow me to Notre Dame!"
"To arms! To arms! Rescue
Esmeralda! Sack the City!"
"Ere dawn my people will
live in the palaces of the
Clopin's call to arms
reach all the hidden
corners of Paris - a kingdom
was the stake.
"To arms! To arms! 'Tis
Clopin who calls you!"
Through all the man-
made rat-holes beneath
the ancient city.
Phoebus had recovered-
but the wound in his
heart still ached.
"Clopin and his rabble
have risen!"
"They've sworn to bring back
Esmeralda! She's in the
tower of Notre Dame!"
"Esmeralda! Alive!"
"Rouse the garrison!"
Preparing a fiery
baptism - MOLTEN
"To arms! To arms!"
"The hunchback has sent
us a battering-ram!"
"My children, I would have
set you free ... Fight on!
Fight on!"
"Why do you struggle?
You are mine, now!"
"Never! - God will
protect me!"