This hugely interesting documentary includes footage I never thought I'd be able to see/hear...sections from the 1930 sound re-release of 1925 silent version of "The Phantom of the Opera." It has been reported numerous places that this version no longer exsists, and I am so happy to find out that at least some material survives. The audio sounds as if it was discovered on it's own and then matched to the silent footage, but this is still a major treat for "Phantom" fans. We can at last hear Mary Philbin and Norman Kerry's voices!
The sound recording is very scratchy and low in resolution, but this adds a spooky effect when married with the film footage. The booming voice of the man reading the Phantom's lines (which was not provided by Lon Chaney, it should be noticed) is truly frightening. We can at last hear the horrifying crash of the chandelier tumbling earthward as that chilling voice cries "She is singing to bring down the chandelier!"
I was so excited about this footage that it took me a while before I continued with the program, which was very informative and entertaining. Susanna Foster is as lovely and lively as ever, and everyone interview provides fascinating insight into the "Phantom" phenomenon.
This program was featured on the DVD release of the !943 Claude Raines "Phantom" which is now out of print, but is definately worth seeking out!
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