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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Unrated | | Horror | 15 November 1925 (USA)
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

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, (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

Writer:

(from the celebrated novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Arthur Edmund Carewe ...
...
John St. Polis ...
Comte Philip de Chagny (as John Sainpolis)
Snitz Edwards ...
Mary Fabian ...
Virginia Pearson ...
Carlotta / Carlotta's Mother (1929 re-edited version)
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest horror film of modern cinema! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 November 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El fantasma de la ópera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original release) | (1995) | (DVD) | (Ontario) | (1929 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(talking sequences, musical score and sound effects) (1929 re-release)|

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sound stage 28 (the Phantom Stage) has been used in countless other films and television series including Phantom of the Opera (1943), Dracula (1931), The Raven (1935), The Sixth Sense (1972) and Torn Curtain (1966). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

The Phantom: Since first I saw your face, this music has been singing to me of you and of - love triumphant! Yet listen - there sounds an ominous undercurrent of warning!
See more »

Crazy Credits

None of the technical staff of this film receives screen credit. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Only a shadow of a film.
28 June 2003 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

The current copy of the Universal production of "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925) is only a shadow of what was once a great film.

Originally, the way the film was shot, it stayed quite close to the book. Many people have complaints about the film straying from the novel, but key sequences like the Graveyard at Perros and the alternate ending where Erik dies of Christine's kiss were shot, then scrapped, then reshot, and then re-scrapped. Eventually, they were just rewritten or disacknowledged altogether.

The original cut was shown in Los Angeles on January 7 and 26, 1925. This was the cut that used the most footage from what was shot starting on October-December 1924. Due to poor reviews, the January release was pulled, and Rupert Julian was told to reshoot most of the picture. Already having become a difficult director and egocentric over the fact that he was the star director ever since he replaced Erich Von Stroheim on THE MERRY-GO-ROUND (1924), he walked out on the studio.

Edward Sedgewick (later director of Keaton's THE CAMERAMAN), who was working for Universal at the time, was asked by Carl Laemmele to reshoot and redirect a bulk of the movie. Raymond L. Schrock, who along with Elliot Clawson, was the screenwriter for the film, re-wrote new scenes to add into the film by the request of Sedgewick. Most of these scenes were added subplots, with Chester Conklin and Vola Vale as comedic partners to the heroes and Ward Crane as the Russian, "Count Ruboff" dueling for Christine's affection. This cut premiered in San Fransico on April 26, 1925 and also failed miserably with reviews.

The final cut had to be made, so Maurice Pivar and Lois Weber re-wrote the final draft script, which was edited to the final nine reels, which debuted on September 6, 1925 at the Astor Theater in New York City, and October 17, 1925 in Hollywood. This cut only exists in 16mm Show-At-Home prints made by Universal for home movie use. These prints are not top quality, but watchable, and even the most complete existing version of this print today is incomplete from years of splicing. These 16mm prints sometimes make it to the underground video market and are best to watch for story, but not for quality.

If you think about all of the mishandling in between, you realize how much has been tampered with the film so far. To add insult to injury, most prints circulating today, including Kino's and the Kevin Brownlow restoration, are actually from a re-release in 1929. When sound came around, Universal immediately redubbed Phantom in sound and re-shot about 40% of the film (whatever Lon Chaney was not in, since he was unavailable). The only quality 35mm print today is a copy made in 1950 for Eastman House in Rochester, NY of the silent cut of the sound re-release to distribute to theaters that didn't have sound systems.

So as you can see, it is really almost impossible to truly critique THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925). It is a semi-lost film.


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