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
Lon Chaney did a lot of work with his performance through his hands. The son of two deaf mutes, he learned to be very expressive with them, and as this is a silent performance, the hands are required to convey quite a lot. See more »
Parts of the unmasking scene were clearly filmed on days when Lon Chaney didn't wear his character makeup. When he has the mask on, his ears are not glued back, which suggests that his face was "au naturel" underneath the mask. See more »
No longer like a toad in these foul cellars will I secrete the venom of hatred - for you shall bring me love!
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None of the technical staff of this film receives screen credit. See more »
Turner Classic Movies owns a restored copy of this film, which I saw from beginning to end for the first time last night. Thanks Ted!
For an 80 year old film, I was honestly swept away by the strengths of this production. OK, once you get past some of the hammy acting, remembering that it was completely de reguer for the time, you get caught up in it.
It has a very steady editing pace, which carries you along in the story, and so there are few, if any, slow points. The plotting and narrative are clear, there are no ' what did he say/mean' moments. The characters are pretty well filled out (there are a few exceptions, most notable the character of the boyfriend/hero) and so the plot wraps around you easily and enjoyably. The production values are amazingly high in this film, the recreation of the Opera (the grand staircase, the auditorium and the stage) the underground (the Phantom's lair, the underground river, the chambers and sub-chambers) and the exteriors were all created in Hollywood full scale. Unlike now, when we would have gotten some truly terrible CGI trash, when that chandelier drops from ceiling it's a real chandelier, it's a real ceiling and its really COOL!
Cant leave out the amazing secret that few if any talk about, but did you know that not only are certain scenes single color tinted, but there is an amazing 2 strip Technicolor sequence, the Masked Ball, that takes place on the grand staircase. Further, there is an stunning sequence that takes place on the roof of the Opera, the Phantom lurking on the parapet, his 'Red Death' costume from the ball billowing behind him in the wind while he stalks the heroine.
If you are expecting buckets of blood and Spiderman-like effects, this isn't the film for you. If you are looking for a fun film with romance, adventure and thrills in it, if you have an appreciation for classic film making, or just want a film you can watch with the kids, this one has a lot to offer.
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