The plot is loosely based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Quasimodo, the hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris sees the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda at the Paris Festival of Fools and is fascinated by her. Esmeralda falls in love with the handsome Captain Phoebus, but also the unscrupulous Judge Frollo falls in love with the beauty. Frollo can kidnap Esmeralda by Quasimodo. But Captain Phoebus and the Royal Guard can liberate her. Quasimodo is captured, but Frollo escapes. On the next chance he kills Captain Phoebus, but Esmeralda is under suspicion. She is captured and she is about to be executed. Quasimodo frees and brings her into the church of Notre Dame. From now on the plot diverges from the novel in substance. In the novel, Esmeralda and Quasimodo die. In this silent movie version, where also Phoebus remains alive and gets happy with Esmeralda, only Quasimodo dies.