On the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral the people celebrate the festival of jesters. By tradition, from among the ugliest participants of the festival, the “father of jesters” should be elected. It should be called the "kings" of the Paris beggars. Their choice falls on the hunchbacked ringer of Quasimodo Cathedral. Sitting on a barrel in a clown tiara with bells, he graciously accepts congratulations on his election as a “father”. Suddenly, the figure of the archdeacon of the cathedral of Claude Frollo rises before him. He angrily blames the hunchback for blasphemy. The crowd wants to protect its chosen one, but Quasimodo rushes between the crowd and the archdeacon, protecting his master.
Roma run out to the square, and among them is a girl with a tambourine. This is Esmeralda. The crowd eagerly watches the gypsy dance. Keeps an eye on her and Claude Frollo. Esmeralda runs to the crowd to collect money, and suddenly stops in fright when she sees an old woman, dressed in miserable rags, with insane eyes. So Gudul met Esmeralda.
The night is coming. When Esmeralda is about to leave the empty square, Claude Frollo orders Quasimodo to kidnap the girl. A night guard, led by Captain Phoebe, resorts to a cry for help. They attack Quasimodo, but Esmeralda asks to let him go. As enchanted, she looks after the departing handsome captain.
The Parisian nobility is going to celebrate the engagement of the charming Fleur-de-Lis with the captain of the royal shooters Phoebus. Gathered guests are invited to the inner chambers. Phoebus, who was delayed in the courtyard, sees Esmeralda among the Gypsies who approached. He orders to let in the gypsy. Esmeralda is happy to see her savior. Without taking her eyes off him, she begins to dance. Phoebus, intoxicated by passion, joins the dance. The indignant mistress of the house orders to drive away the intruders.
In the tavern dance Roma. Phoebus enters with a group of officers. In the dark corner, hiding from people, sits the hunchback Quasimodo. Esmeralda approaches the officers. Phoebe gives her a sign, and she dutifully follows him. A man in a monk's dress slips through the door. This is Claude Frollo.
The room where Esmeralda Phoebe led. He wants to hug a girl, but he falls, struck down by a dagger blow. When Esmeralda wakes up, she is surrounded by soldiers. The girl is gone. Only Quasimodo is left in the room. He picks up a dagger from the floor and realizes that the culprit is Claude Frollo.
Esmeralda is sharpened in a dungeon. Everything that happened seems to her a terrible dream. Claude Frollo appears before her. He prays the girl for love, promising her salvation. Esmeralda angrily pushes away the hated man. Left alone, she falls unconscious.
Esmeralda sentenced to death. Everything is ready for execution. From all sides of Paris gathered people. The doors of the cathedral swing open, and the archdeacon Claude Frollo reappears before Esmeralda. He repeats his sentence: life in exchange for love. But Esmeralda is ready for death. Near Esmeralda the executioner gets up. Quasimodo, knocking down the executioner, picks up Esmeralda and rushes with her to the cathedral. The crowd pushes the guard back, but Claude Frollo comes out of the cathedral door with Esmeralda in his arms and passes it to the executioner. At this time, an old woman squeezes out from the crowd to her. This is Gudula, cursing the gypsy for stealing her child. For a moment, the mind returns to her. From the talisman hanging on her chest, she recognizes her daughter in Esmeralda. Gudula tries to save Esmeralda, but the soldiers push her away.
At one of the towers of the cathedral, Quasimodo sits and mourns the executed Esmeralda. Claude Frollo appears. The fight is tied up. Quasimodo pushes the priest from the tower to the square ...