The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1939 American monochrome film starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda. It was directed by William Dieterle and produced by Pandro S. Berman. The film is considered by some reviewers to be the best of the many film versions of Victor Hugo's classic novel.
The plot differs considerably from that of the original novel. The main differences are that Esmeralda and Quasimodo remain alive at the end, unlike in the novel, in which Esmeralda is hanged and Quasimodo is presumed dead, but two years later a hunchback skeleton is found at her grave site.
The character of Frollo was heavily changed. Instead of being an archdeacon, he is a judge and a close advisor of King Louis XI, while in the novel they do not meet each other. Frollo's death was portrayed close to the original one, but a major difference is that in the novel he was watching Esmeralda's execution when Quasimodo killed him.
Phoebus, who is only wounded by Frollo in the...