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The Phantom of the Opera
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The Phantom of the Opera (1925) More at IMDbPro »

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The Phantom of the Opera -- A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   10,428 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Gaston Leroux (from the celebrated novel by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Phantom of the Opera on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 November 1925 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The greatest horror film of modern cinema! See more »
Plot:
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Only a shadow of a film. See more (117 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lon Chaney ... The Phantom

Mary Philbin ... Christine Daae
Norman Kerry ... Vicomte Raoul de Chagny
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Ledoux

Gibson Gowland ... Simon Buquet
John St. Polis ... Comte Philip de Chagny (as John Sainpolis)
Snitz Edwards ... Florine Papillon
Mary Fabian ... Carlotta (1929 re-edited version only)
Virginia Pearson ... Carlotta / Carlotta's Mother (1929 re-edited version)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olive Ann Alcorn ... La Sorelli (uncredited)
Joseph Belmont ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
Alexander Bevani ... Mephistopheles (uncredited)
Earl Gordon Bostwick ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Edward Cecil ... Faust (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Ballerina (uncredited)
Chester Conklin ... Orderly (uncredited)
Roy Coulson ... The Jester (uncredited)
Bruce Covington ... M. Moncharmin (uncredited)
Ward Crane ... Count Ruboff (uncredited)
George Davis ... Guard at Christine's Door (uncredited)
Madame Fiorenza ... Mme. Giry - Keeper of the Box (uncredited)
Cesare Gravina ... Manager (uncredited)
William Humphrey ... M. Debienne (uncredited)
Carla Laemmle ... Prima Ballerina (uncredited)
Edward Martindel ... Comte Philip de Chagny (1929 re-edited version) (uncredited)
Grace Marvin ... Martha (uncredited)
John Miljan ... Valentin (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Bernard Siegel ... Joseph Buquet (uncredited)
William Tracy ... Ratcatcher - Messenger from the Shadows (uncredited)
William Tyroler ... Director of Opera Orchestra (uncredited)
Vola Vale ... Ballerina (uncredited)
Anton Vaverka ... Prompter (uncredited)
George B. Williams ... M. Ricard (uncredited)
Ed Wolff ... Mob Leader at Finale (uncredited)
Edith Yorke ... Mama Valerius (uncredited)

Directed by
Rupert Julian 
Lon Chaney (uncredited)
Ernst Laemmle (uncredited)
Edward Sedgwick (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Gaston Leroux (from the celebrated novel by)

Walter Anthony  titles (uncredited)
Elliott J. Clawson  adaptation (uncredited)
Bernard McConville  treatment (uncredited)
Frank M. McCormack  uncredited
Tom Reed  titles (uncredited)
Raymond L. Schrock  adaptation (uncredited)
Jasper Spearing  treatment (uncredited)
Richard Wallace  additional comedy material (uncredited)

Produced by
Carl Laemmle .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Joseph Carl Breil (San Francisco world premiere)
Roy Budd (1993)
Carl Davis (1996)
Gustav Hinrichs (New York premiere)
Gabriel Thibaudeau (1990)
Rick Wakeman (1990)
Sam Perry (1929 sound re-release) (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Milton Bridenbecker (uncredited)
Virgil Miller (uncredited)
Charles Van Enger (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Edward Curtiss (uncredited)
Maurice Pivar (uncredited)
Gilmore Walker (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Ben Carré (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall (uncredited)
Elmer Sheeley (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Lon Chaney .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Raymond L. Schrock .... executive production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Pasternak .... assistant director (uncredtied)
 
Art Department
Ben Carré .... consulting artist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... opera house set design (uncredited)
Charles A. Logue .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Foley .... foley artist: re-issue (uncredited)
C. Roy Hunter .... recording supervisor: re-issue (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Trey Freeman .... digital artist: digital restoration and color correction (restored version)
Jerome Ash .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Edward T. Estabrook .... supervisor: color photography (uncredited)
Roman Freulich .... still photographer (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ken Strickfaden .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Joseph Cherniavsky .... synchronization (1929 re-release) (uncredited)
 
Music Department
James Fitzpatrick .... music contractor (1996)
David Broekman .... composer: stock music (1929 re-release) (uncredited)
Arthur Jentsch .... composer: stock music (1929 reissue) (uncredited)
Hugo Riesenfeld .... composer: stock music (1929 reissue) (uncredited)
William Schiller .... composer: additional music (1929 re-release) (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
Carl Laemmle .... president: Universal Pictures Corp.
Ernest Belcher .... ballet master (uncredited)
Lon Chaney .... mask maker: his own mask (uncredited)
Edwards Davis .... adr voice (uncredited)
Archie Hall .... technical director (uncredited)
Fay Holderness .... adr voice (uncredited)
Ernst Laemmle .... director: sound sequences (uncredited)
Jack Lawton .... title designer: notes (uncredited)
Robert Ross .... assistant: Mr. Julian (uncredited)
Edward Sedgwick .... supplementary director (uncredited)
Ralph Slosser .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Phillips Smalley .... adr voice (uncredited)
Miss Starkey .... secretary (uncredited)
Meta Stern .... researcher (uncredited)
William von Wymetal .... choreographer (uncredited)
Aileen Webster .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Max Winkler .... cue sheet compiler (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Kevin Phelan .... special thanks: FilmTel supervisor (1999 restoration)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
93 min | UK:101 min (original release) | USA:92 min (1995 version) | USA:107 min (DVD version) | Canada:106 min (Ontario) | 95 min (1929 re-release)
Country:
Color:
Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (talking sequences, musical score and sound effects) (1929 re-release) | Silent
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1928) | UK:PG | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:
Christine:[Title Card] " If you love me as you say you do you will let me go I promise to be your slave forever"See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Horror Show (1979) (TV)See more »

FAQ

How did Lon Chaney create such a startling make-up effect?
I've heard there are different versions of the film. What version of the film am I viewing?
How were some of the make-up effects done?
See more »
34 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Only a shadow of a film., 28 June 2003
Author: J. Theakston from New York, USA

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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Watch and Download Phantom of the Opera (1925) for free here mspaintnerd111
If I were Christine in this version.... scarlaohorror
The Phantom of the Opera Animated film based on Gaston Leroux's novel info-955-273206
is this film public domain? mhworm243
The original ending...screenshots? writergurlkristin-1
BFI Blu-ray pitsburghfuzz
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