The 1923 film version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney as Quasimodo and Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda, and directed by Wallace Worsley, is the most famous adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The story is set in Paris ten years before Columbus discovered America.
Quasimodo is a deformed bell-ringer of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Jehan, the Archdeacon's evil brother, prevails upon him to kidnap the fair Esmeralda Clopin, the ward of the King of the underworld. Dashing Phoebus rescues her and takes her under his wing. Quasimodo is sentenced to be lashed in the public square. As he suffers under the sting of the whip, Esmeralda comes and brings him water. From that time he is her devoted slave. Jehan and Clopin learn that Captain Phoebus plans to wed Esmeralda, and do all in their power to break up the affair, but fail. Jehan then stabs and wounds Phoebus and lays the blame on Esmeralda. She is sentenced to die, but is rescued by Quasimodo and takes refuge in the Cathedral. Clopin tries to storm the Cathedral, while crafty Jehan attempts to loot the treasure vaults. Quasimodo routs the invaders with torrents of molten lead, and kills Jehan by throwing him off the ramparts of Notre Dame. Just before he does, however, Jehan fatally stabs Quasimodo in the back with his knife. Phoebus comes to the rescue and encounters Esmerelda.. As she and Phoebus clasp each other to their hearts, Quasimodo rings his own death toll. After ringing the bell, Quasimodo dies. Esmeralda and Phoebus leave without even noticing that Quasimodo is mortally wounded, but the Archdeacon enters just in time to see him die.