The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Music  |  15 August 1962 (USA)
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Reviews: 49 user | 39 critic

Terror strikes the London Opera House as a new opera is disrupted by the actions of a deformed specter of the show's past who has an obsession with one of the production's chorus girl.



(screenplay) (as John Elder) , (composition)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heather Sears ...
Edward de Souza ...
Thorley Walters ...
Lord Ambrose d'Arcy
Harold Goodwin ...
Martin Miller ...
Liane Aukin ...
Sonya Cordeau ...
Marne Maitland ...
Miriam Karlin ...
Renee Houston ...
Mrs. Tucker
Keith Pyott ...
John Harvey ...
Sgt. Vickers


The corrupt Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Michael Gough) steals the life's work of the poor composer Professor L. Petrie. (Herbert Lom). In an attempt to stop the printing of music with D'Arcy's name on it, Petrie breaks into the printing office and accidentally starts a fire, leaving him severely disfigured. Years later, Petrie returns to terrorize a London opera house that is about to perform one of his stolen operas. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BENEATH HIS MASK...the Grotesque Face of Horror Unimaginable! INSIDE HIS HEART...the Desperate Desire for Beauty and Love! See more »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Phantom der Oper  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was originally written for Cary Grant, who wanted to do a horror film. The Phantom's character was rewritten as a more tragic figure, with the dwarf (played here by Ian Wilson) doing the actual violence, to suit Grant's image. Grant declined the part (possibly unhappy with the watered down character) and it went to Lom. See more »


During the flashback sequence, Ambrose D'Arcy writes his own name on the title page of one of Professor Petrie's manuscripts, which is called Symphony No. 1. The word 'symphony,' however, is clearly and incorrectly spelled 'symphany.' The spelling is corrected on the printed copies of the music seen later. See more »


Harry Hunter: [Harry is asking Christine to go out to lunch with him after she has been dismissed from the opera] I insist that you come and celebrate.
Mrs. Tucker: Celebrate, Mr. Hunter?
Harry Hunter: Yes, Mrs. Tucker. Today we both got the sack.
Christine Charles: Oh no, Harry.
Harry Hunter: Oh yes, Harry.
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User Reviews

Atmospheric Opera Fun

The novel The Phantom of the Opera has been filmed at least ten times plus now. This entry by Hammer Studios is one of the better ones, bringing a liberal change in storytelling as well as some very atmospheric settings and camera work. Directed by Terence Fisher, this film, like Fisher's The Gorgon, is highly poetic. The phantom is a former music professor who has been pushed into his life of seclusion and physical deformity. He is a figure of sympathetic pity rather than horror. It is this point of view which makes this film very interesting as the phantom is not the monster but rather just a man who has been mistreated trying to cope and resurrect his life. Yep, he still lives in the sewers of Paris. The Hammer sets are wonderful all around, particularly the opera house and the winding underground sewers. Hammer also puts their stamp of luxuriant looking cinematography on. Herbert Lom plays the man behind the mask. Lom does a nice job in the film as do all the leads. Heather Sears is a striking heroine, and Edward Da Souza makes an affable leading man. The real star, apart from Fisher's direction, is Michael Gough. Boy, can this man play a mean individual. Gough's screen time is magic as he malevolently belittles everyone around him, steals things that are not his, and lewdly leers at anything in a skirt! The film also boasts some fine staged opera numbers and a beautiful soundtrack. Many scenes show Fisher's competence and ability to create lush moods whilst being able to provide good storytelling.

A fine Phantom edition.

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