Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

4.8 9
Director: Rupert Julian

Cast: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry

     
 

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Lon Chaney stars as Erik, the Phantom, in what is probably his most famous and certainly his most horrifying role. Produced by Universal, the film shot in 1923 and shelved for nearly two years, and was subjected to intensive studio tinkering. While many expected a disaster, the film turned out to be a rousing success. It was both the stepping off point for Chaney's… See more details below

Overview

Lon Chaney stars as Erik, the Phantom, in what is probably his most famous and certainly his most horrifying role. Produced by Universal, the film shot in 1923 and shelved for nearly two years, and was subjected to intensive studio tinkering. While many expected a disaster, the film turned out to be a rousing success. It was both the stepping off point for Chaney's run as a superstar at MGM and the prototype for the horror film cycle at Universal in the 1930s. The story concerns Erik, a much-feared fiend who haunts the Paris Opera House. Lurking around the damp, dank passages deep in the cellars of the theater, he secretly coaches understudy Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) to be an opera star. Through a startling sequence of terrors, including sending a giant chandelier crashing down on the opera patrons, the Phantom forces the lead soprano to withdraw from the opera, permitting Christine to step in. Luring Christine into his subterranean lair below the opera house, the Phantom confesses his love. But Christine is in love with Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry). The Phantom demands that Christine break off her relationship with Raoul before he'll allow her to return to the opera house stage. She agrees, but immediately upon her release from the Phantom's lair, she runs into the arms of Raoul and they plan to flee to England after her performance that night. The Phantom overhears their conversation and, during her performance, the Phantom kidnaps Christine, taking her to the depths of his dungeon. It is left to Raoul and Simon Buquet (Gibson Gowland), a secret service agent, to track down the Phantom and rescue Christine.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Heavily influenced by German Expressionism, with its moody sets and murky patterns of shadows and light, The Phantom of the Opera set the style for such subsequent films as Dracula, Frankenstein and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The melodramatic tale of a deformed man, an abused outsider all his life, searching for love in a world of socialites repulsed by his presence, obviously derives from Victor Hugo's classic Hunchback novel. The film's visual emphasis on subterranean settings and impressive sets, such as the Paris Opera House, also clearly informed these later films. As the Phantom, Lon Chaney created such an empathetic villain that it was nearly impossible not to root for him. The groundbreaking use of the costly two-strip Technicolor process in some key scenes is tremendously effective in conveying the film's tone. On-set battles led to a series of directors, including Chaney himself, taking the helm for different scenes, but the final vision was that of New Zealander Rupert Julian. Even as the story deteriorates into hokey melodrama, Chaney's riveting performance holds the film together to the end. The moment when the Phantom's mask is ripped away remains one of the most chilling moments in movie history.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
UPC:
0089218318893
Original Release:
1925
Rating:
R
Source:
Alpha Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[silent]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
10,440

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lon Chaney The Phantom
Mary Philbin Christine Daae
Norman Kerry Vicomte Raoul de Chagny
Arthur Edmund Carewe Ledoux, the Persian
Gibson Gowland Simon Buquet
Edward Martindel Philippe de Chagny [sound version]
John St. Polis Philippe de Chagny [silent version]
Snitz Edwards Florine Papillon
Virginia Pearson Carlotta
Olive Ann Alcorn La Sorelli
Alexander Bevani Mephistopheles
Edward Cecil Faust
Chester Conklin Orderly
Bruce Covington Mons. Moncharmin
Grace Marvin Martha
John Miljan Valentine
George B. William M. Richard, manager
Ward Crane Count Ruboff
Cesare Gravina Retiring Manager
Bernard Siegel Joseph Buquet
Anton Vaverka The Prompter
Edith Yorke Mama Valerius

Technical Credits
Rupert Julian Director
Milton Bridenbecker Cinematographer
Ben Carre Production Designer
Elliott J. Clawson Screenwriter
Charles Hall Production Designer
Carl Laemmle Producer
Carl Laemmle Producer
Frank M. McCormack Screenwriter
Virgil E. Miller Cinematographer
Maurice Pivar Editor
Tom Reed Screenwriter
Raymond Schrock Screenwriter
Philip Springer Score Composer
Charles Van Enger Cinematographer
Rick Wakeman Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [31:32]
3. Chapter 2 [12:34]
4. Chapter 3 [19:37]
5. Chapter 4 [19:49]

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