At the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta, and forces her to give up her role (Marguerite in Faust) for unknown Christine Daae. Christine meets this phantom (a masked man) in the catacombs, where he lives. What's his goal? What's his secret?Written by
In 1925 (and for many years afterwards), credits used to appear at the beginning of movies. In The Phantom of the Opera (1925), the credits do appear at the beginning and also are repeated at the end, preceded by the following caption: "This is repeated at the request of picture patrons who desire to check the names of performers whose work has pleased them." See more »
Universal reedited the film and added a musical score for a reissue in 1930 with talking sequences and a superfluous prologue. See more »
Seeing this one with Mary was an unforgettable experience!
My goodness...close to fifty years ago I saw this film in the company of its leading lady, Mary Philbin. She was a friend of an unforgettable lady our family had met when we moved from New England to southern California. Our mutual friend was constantly prodding Miss Philbin, who had become quite reclusive after retiring from the screen, to get out and enjoy life. (They took a trip to Europe one summer, for instance.) One evening she persuaded Mary, who was extremely reluctant, by the way, to accompany us to the silent movie theater on Fairfax Ave., not far from Hollywood Blvd. and the site of Grauman's Chinese Theater and other first-run movie palaces, to see a revival of "The Phantom of the Opera." That old theater, not in the least luxurious and quite small, was a virtual shrine for lovers of silent films. Management had obtained a print of this film in acceptable condition, though I don't recall that the Technicolor sequence had been preserved in that print and, on that evening anyway, there was no musical accompaniment.
Mary dreaded the experience of seeing one of her old films amid a mid-Fifties audience, which she feared would find the film a subject of comical curiosity rather than a piece of genuinely enthralling entertainment. We joined the rest of the audience that night in enjoying the experience of seeing the film, however, and Mary was relieved that she had consented to accompany us (though she insisted that we shield her from any possible recognition, not too easy to do, since she had hardly changed in appearance in the quarter-century since that classic's production.) I, for one, remember being amazed at the care and expense that had obviously been lavished on its production.
Not very long after that evening, we went to a neighborhood theater in Pacific Palisades, Calif., to see James Cagney in the 1957 Universal-International biographical film about Lon Chaney, Sr., "Man of a Thousand Faces," again with Mary Philbin in our company. The unmasking scene from "The Phantom of the Opera" was rather perfunctorily recreated, with an actress playing Mary who did not resemble her. As we exited the theater, Mary and our family friend, who had quite a few early Hollywood associations (She had once been married to Ernst Lubitsch, the legendary director, when they first came to Hollywood from their native Germany.), regaled me with reminiscences about Irving Thalberg (played in the film by a young Robert Evans), whom they had both known and for whom they had quite a high regard.
Mary remained a family friend over the years until her death more than thirty years later. She led a very quiet life, for many years occupying a house she had owned since the days of her stardom (only a few blocks north on Fairfax Ave. from that silent movie revival house!) I remember her with great fondness for her modesty and extraordinary sweetness.
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