Pit violinist Claudin hopelessly loves rising operatic soprano Christine Dubois (as do baritone Anatole and police inspector Raoul) and secretly aids her career. But Claudin loses both his touch and his job, murders a rascally music publisher in a fit of madness, and has his face etched with acid. Soon, mysterious crimes plague the Paris Opera House, blamed on a legendary "phantom" whom none can find in the mazes and catacombs. But both of Christine's lovers have plans to ferret him out. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The budget was approximately $1,750,000, which included $100,000 to soundproof the still-existing opera stage from Universal's The Phantom of the Opera (1925) silent film version See more »
The use of a stunt-double for Claude Rains at the climactic cave-in is very obvious! The double has a bigger physique than Rains, and curly hair. See more »
[Claudin is talking to Christine as they descend into the catacombs beneath the Opera]
See? Didn't I tell you it was beautiful? You didn't know we had a lake all to ourselves, did you?
[Christine covers her face and sobs]
They've poisoned your mind against me. That's why you're afraid. Look at your lake, Christine. You'll love it here when you get used to the dark. And you'll love the dark, too. It's friendly and peaceful. It brings rest and relief from pain. It's right under the Opera. The music...
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Horror may be muted...but the music is glorious...
Before writing a film article on Claude Rains for CLASSIC IMAGES (December 2000), I took another look at 'Phantom' to appraise his performance. He's one of those rare actors who can make you feel sympathy when he plays the ill-treated violinist so that you understand why he turns into 'The Phantom'. His performance is just one asset of this handsome technicolor adaptation of the famous story. Why carp about the changes made for this version? It stands on its own as an entertaining melodrama studded with operatic sequences that give it added dimension. Nelson Eddy has never been in better voice and Susanna Foster is certainly up to the demands of her singing role. The comic aspects of the story are a bit overdone and the only weakness of the film is giving Eddy and Edgar Barrier silly routines as they compete for the hand of Foster. Aside from that, this can still be enjoyed as a horror story set against the Paris Opera background. The sets are rich and detailed. Understandably, the film won Academy Awards for color cinematography and color art direction. Edward Ward's haunting score was also nominated and contributes greatly to the overall enjoyment of the film. The horror is muted in this version--but the rich musical highlights are a compensation. Absorbing entertainment.
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