Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Movie Poster

Goofs from Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

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  • Quasimodo's misplaced eye never moves or blinks, despite the fact that it is a prosthetic.
  • After Quasimodo dumps the molten metal on the crowd below him, he sits on the wall with the sky in the background. Creases in the painted backdrop are clearly visible, as well as the backdrop fabric.
  • In this story set in 15th century France, a character wears glasses kept in place with strings that loop around the ears. That type of eyeglasses was invented in Spain during the reign of Philip II in the 16th century.
  • The cathedral is shown as having a full flight of steps up to the front doors. Notre Dame has always been more or less level with the square (le Parvis).
  • Near the end, in the king's chambers when meeting with Frollo and the Archdeacon, the boom mic shadow follows the king onto a bookstand, then when noticed, it is pulled back.
  • Esmeralda is tortured in a class of iron vise called the boot, or "brodequins," that is tightened around her foot by screws to crush bones. Actually, Victor Hugo's text notwithstanding, this type of boot did not exist in the 15th century. The boot was conducted by binding a close arrangement of carefully shaped wooden boards around the naked foot and calf of the victim, after which thin, sharp wooden wedges were slowly hammered into the boot, increasing the pressure until the foot bones shattered.
  • King Louis XI, a monarch of the 15th century, is addressed as His Majesty. The first monarch to receive the title of Majesty was Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (i.e., Germany in the 16th century).
  • While watching a festival, the king and an advisor are sitting about two feet from one another. A moment later, they are inches apart.
  • While examining the new invention of a printing press, the king is grasping a pendant around his neck. A moment later, his hands are down.
  • As Quasimodo decides to pour molten metal on the rioters, he dances around the cauldron saying "Molten metal" three times. However, his mouth never moves.
  • The prologue tells us the story takes place in the 15th century during the reign of King Louis IX. Louis IX reigned from 1226-1270. However, the end credits correctly lists Harry Davenport as having played King Louis XI, who reigned during the period the story takes place, from 1461-1483.
  • The film opens in Paris during the Feast of Fools. In medieval France, the Feast of Fools took place on January 1st, yet the film isn't set in the wintertime.
  • Although the story is set in 1482 during the reign of Louis XI, Notre Dame Cathedral is shown with its 19th century additions, including statuary.
  • A Revealing Mistake says: "Quasimodo's misplaced eye never moves or blinks, despite the fact that it is a prosthetic." But this deformed eye would not reasonably be expected to blink or move - because it IS deformed and misplaced! Further, the very fact that it is a prosthetic would further explain why it never moves or blinks.
  • The actor George Tobias is credited as being one of the beggars. However, he is also seen as one of the workmen laboring in Notre Dame Cathedral. He thus has two diametrically opposed roles (beggar and workman), but is only credited for one.

Spoilers

  • Obvious stunt double for Frollo as he struggles with Quasimodo near the end of the film.
  • The shot of Frollo's now-dead body is the same shot used before of the dead bodies of two beggars.
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