The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Since 1905, there have been a total of 15 movies based on Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. What’s really sad is that not one of them can be considered a definitive adaptation. The 1956 French version starring Anthony Quinn comes the closest. This story has also been made into a Lon Chaney horror film (1923) and a Disney cartoon (1996).
The Phantom of the Opera
So far, there have been eight different movies called The Phantom of the Opera and countless knockoffs such as The Phantom of Paradise (1974) and The Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge (1989). The Phantom has been played by actors from Lon Chaney Sr. (1925) to Maximilian Schell (1983) to Julian Sands (1998). Unfortunately, like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, none of these movies follow the original story very well.
Do you think Bram Stoker knew what he was starting when he wrote Dracula? There have been 58 movies based, more or less, on Stoker’s original novel. These include the 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi, the Christopher Lee series from the ’50s to the ’70s, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, and even several Dracula comedies such as Love at First Bite (1979) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995). The character Count Dracula has also appeared in many other films including House of Frankenstein (1944) and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
Since 1910, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein has been remade, rewritten, and, in many cases, ruined a total of 25 times (this count does not include the innumerable Frankenstein knockoffs). These movies have ranged from the inaccurate, but enjoyable, horror of the 1930s to the violent, sexed-up 1994 Kenneth Branagh version. In 1910, Frankenstein’s Monster was played by Charles Ogle. Since then, the character has been played by Lon Chaney Jr. (1952), Glenn Strange (1944, 1945, 1948), Robert De Niro (1994), and, of course, Boris Karloff (1931, 1935, 1939).
When Robin of Locksley first appeared on the silver screen in 1912, no one in Hollywood or anywhere else could have had any idea just how hard it was going to be to get rid of him! So far, the Robin Hood legend has been the subject of 54 different movies and there’s another one, Robin Hood – Ghosts of Sherwood, due for release in either 2010 or 2011. Robin of Locksley has been played by actors from Douglas Fairbanks Sr. (Robin Hood, 1922) to Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938)to Kevin Costner (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1991) and the story has also been made into a Disney cartoon and a Mel Brooks comedy. This count does not include the title character’s many appearances in yet another overdone movie subject: Ivanhoe.