Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.
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 only stage in the history of Hollywood where a turntable was built specifically for the 1925 "Phantom of the Opera" feature film, and has remained intact for ninety years. Stage theatrics use of a turntable in set design was primarily a European novelty incorporated into elaborate opera productions in England, Italy and Germany. A turntable built into the set design was first introduced on Broadway in 1941, for the Kurt Weill musical "Lady In The Dark" designed by stage designer Harry Horner. The novelty of this motorized turntable was unique, a center donut ring, with an outer six foot ring. The entire "donut turntable" could move in either direction, or the center turntable could move independent of the stationary outer ring, and the outer ring could move in the opposite direction of the center ring. The same turntable concept was copied in the set design for the 1969 Broadway musical "CoCo" designed by Cecil Beaton. The Oliver Smith set design for the 1956-1962 Broadway musical "My Fair Lady" utilized two turntables, aligned on center stage, rotating in opposite direction of each other, to transform the scenic set elements. During the 50s, 60s and 70s, NBC Burbank's stock scenery division built a motorized turntable which expanded from a ten foot diameter, to a thirty foot diameter turntable. This scenic element was used on several NBC color television variety series, as "The Dinah Shore Show," "The Bob Hope Show," "The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show," etc.. "The stage 28 Phantom of the Opera turntable" is unique in the history of both Hollywood films, live color television series/specials and Broadway stage productions. See more »
(1929 cut) When the Phantom's alarm goes off, the sound of the chimes does not always match the striking of the device's "arms." That is because what you are hearing is the film's soundtrack, not "sound effects," which do not exist in a silent film. As such, this being "off sync" is allowable. See more »
Sanctuary of song lovers, The Paris Opera House, rising nobly over medieval torture chambers, hidden dungeons, long forgotten.
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 »
Chaney is best known today for two roles: Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and Erik in "The Phantom of the Opera." The pair contrast the human response to physical deformity. While Quasimodo searches for kindness and acts to protect his home and loved ones, Erik shuns humanity and in his hatred and isolation becomes truly evil.
Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) is the understudy at the Paris Opera house, an ancient structure built over a network of torture chambers and interconnecting cellars. Rumors abound of a ghost or phantom who stalks the halls, and even rents his own box for the performances. With the help of this mysterious stranger, Daae becomes the lead diva.
Daae, apparently fine with her benefactor's use of extortion and mass murder to help her career, dumps her boyfriend Raoul (Norman Kerry) and follows the masked Phantom into the bowels of the opera house. She is, however, sensitive enough to collapse in a faint at the discovery that her benefactor is the legendary Phantom, and at his profession of love for her.
Awakening, she discovers herself in a lavish bedroom he has prepared for her, with her name engraved on a hand mirror. But upon snatching off the Phantom's mask, she realizes that he isn't Prince Charming after all, but hideously deformed, with a skull-like face.
The Phantom returns her to the opera, telling her that she must never see Raoul again. Upon reflection, however, Christine decides that looks and sanity are more important to her in a lover than she originally thought, and makes plans to meet Raoul at the annual masked ball. Raoul, neither particularly brave or smart, suggests that the two of them hightail it out of town. Christine, not one to run before her chance at the big time, suggests that they flee after the following evening's performance. Erik, of course, is listening in.
At that point Erik drops his nice-guy facade, hangs a stagehand who discovers his trap door, kidnaps Christine and flees into the cellars. He is hotly pursued by Raoul and a Secret Police inspector, who are followed by Raoul's brother, who is followed by angry mob led by the murdered stagehand's brother.
Erik, meanwhile, is trying to convince Christine of his capacity to reform ("No longer like a toad in these foul cellars will I secrete the venom of hatred -- for you shall bring me love!"). Alas, his plans to become a good husband are interrupted by the need to bump off a few of his pursuers, using elaborate boody traps and alarms throughout the dungeons.
The final minute of the movie is perhaps the best, with Erik's final gesture proving that his mental ability far outweighs that of anyone else in the film. He goes out in style, leaving the dim-witted Raoul and his amoral girlfriend to live happily ever after.
The two best things are Chaney's over-the-top performance as Erik and the spectacular sets. Chaney had a way of making any other actors in a film appear flat and lifeless, and this is no exception. The elaborate set of the opera house and the gothic appearance of the dungeons are still impressive, and the tinting and two-strip technicolor in the Bal Masque sequence look great.
"Phantom" is rousing horror/adventure, while "Hunchback" was a touching allegorical film. The latter is better and more serious, but "Phantom" is still some of the most fun it's possible to have before a movie screen.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?