At the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta and thus forces her to give up her role (Marguerite in Faust) for unknown Christine Daae. Christine meets this phantom (a masked man) in the catacombs, where he lives. What's his goal ? What's his secret ? Written by
The Universal Studios' stage 28 floor-foot print, built for the 1925 B&W Lon Chaney "Phantom of the Opera" feature film, is enormous. The European horseshoe Paris Opera Theatre's three tiered box audience seating area surrounds the floor audience ramped area. The master wide-shot from the top rear box seat area encompasses the stage proscenium, orchestra pit, and the chandelier. The top of the interior theatre ceiling master shot is completed with a matte painting. The audience area is one third of the stage's foot print. The North end of stage 28 encompasses the raised stage area. What really makes this stage unique is that in 1925, an elaborate 30'-0" diameter mechanical turntable sits in the center of the front stage area, allowing forty (40) feet from the back edge of the turntable to the rear stage back-wall. The basement of stage 28 houses the original turntable mechanical mechanism to turn the 30' diameter turntable. All of the mechanics for the turntable have remained intact, sitting in their original structural position. The turntable centers on a center cylindrical shaft, with triangular inverted bracing branches, welded to the center shaft, similar to an inverted umbrella brace. The entire weight of the turntable is thrust upon this center turning spindle. After the original film was completed, the turntable area of the stage floor was covered with three layers of 3/4" thick plywood 4'-0" x 10'-0" sheets, which allowed future film sets to be built upon the turntable stage area for feature filming. When a camera crane is used on the stage, allowances have to be considered with the turntable's floor position, related to the film set requirements. The original stage had a theatre pin rail system with hanging pipe arbors for electrical lights, existing on the stage right area. The raised stage area was utilized for feature film "process photography" because of the depth required for a film projector onto a rear screen, enough room for a camera and crew, with an acting/performance area in front of the screen. The projector camera has to be in direct center of the filming camera's lens point of view position, with a depth of field allowance. The 1943 Universal Studios Technicolor remake of "Phantom of the Opera" starring Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster and Claude Rains stripped the plywood floor covering in order to utilize the turntable for the film's stage production numbers. The turntable mechanism was tuned up and used in the film. After the 1943 Technicolor film was completed, the stage flooring was installed, re-covering the turntable. The turntable has never been used since the 1943 feature film. The interior Opera House theatre has been filmed, and the production stage area of stage 28 has been host to many feature and television films. See more »
Continuity of Erik's sleeves during the unmasking. See more »
In 1925 (and for many years afterwards), credits used to appear at the beginning of movies. In "The Phantom of the Opera", the credits do appear at the beginning and are also repeated at the end, preceded by the following caption: "This is repeated at the request of picture patrons who desire to check the names of performers whose work has pleased them." See more »
Music, Words and Personality Cannot Make Up for That Face.
The titled character is a badly disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who stays in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with the theater's newest leading lady (Mary Philbin) and hatches a plan to take her down to his tomb. Masked, able to play lovely music and say such lovely things, she finds herself strangely attracted to Chaney. However, she makes the mistake of unmasking him and that is when he shows his true deviant colors. "The Phantom of the Opera" is one of the finest pictures of the late silent era and Chaney was arguably the greatest performer of the period (of course Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin fans would not agree). His ability to literally transform himself into movie monsters is truly uncanny, especially considering the lack of technical resources in the 1920s. New Zealand director Rupert Julian (who took sole credit in spite of the fact that Chaney and fellow director Edward Sedgwick also did some of the work behind the camera) uses tone to stretch his audience to their outer-limits throughout. Spooky, dramatic, stressful and memorable, "The Phantom of the Opera" is one of those silent pictures that will suck you in and never let you go. 5 stars out of 5.
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