Film review: a silent Hunchback of Notre Dame


The bells! The bells!

One dark February night a couple of weeks ago, I joined a 200-strong audience in a bone-chilling Ely Cathedral to watch the silent version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces’, Lon Chaney. I have seen quite a few brilliant silent films but this one was staged in an unusual and atmospheric setting that transcended the hammy acting and plodding production that pervades this early blockbuster. A silent film show in an English cathedral is a rare event; all credit to Ely Cathedral staff and Ely Film Society for devising such an innovative meeting of space and celluloid. It was a magical experience.