The Opera Gost: a Phantom Unmasked is a wonderful documentary about the history/evolution of Gaston Leroux's creation from printed page to film. Detailed histories of the 1925 masterpiece as well as a seemingly lost 1930 sound version, the 1943 remake and Hammer's 1962 film comprise the backbone of this documentary. We get an inside look through Universal's vault as well as stage information and as a splendid bonus first hand knowledge from surviving stars such as Susana Foster, Carla Laemmle, and Turhan Bey. I was pleased with the way the information was presented and the scholarship that had been dedicated to this labour of love from David Skaal and Scott MacQueen. Generous film clips and still photographs are used throughout(with only the tedious property of Universal having to be proclaimed every moment on every clip as a minor distraction). I learned a lot I did not know about how one of the most beloved horror icons of the 20th century came about and transformed from a character in a book in 1910 to the mega-star of Broadway. Very satisfying stuff. The archival footage of the 1930 version is worth a look alone as it has some clips I thought, as the other reviewer noted, that I would never have an opportunity to see. This documentary can be seen with Universal's release on DVD of the 1943 version. My only real gripe is that that version was included in the Universal Monster Classic Collection rather than the much superior 1925 film.
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