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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Not Rated | | Horror | 15 November 1925 (USA)
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors:

Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

Writer:

Gaston Leroux (from the 1910 celebrated novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... The Phantom
Mary Philbin ... Christine Daae
Norman Kerry ... Vicomte Raoul de Chagny
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Ledoux
Gibson Gowland ... Simon Buquet
John St. Polis ... Comte Philip de Chagny (as John Sainpolis)
Snitz Edwards ... Florine Papillon
Mary Fabian ... Carlotta
Virginia Pearson Virginia Pearson ... Carlotta / Carlotta's Mother
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Storyline

At the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta and thus 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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Million Thrills to Thrill Millions See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Release Date:

15 November 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom of the Opera See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$720,861, 31 December 1926
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (1995) | (DVD) | (Ontario) | (1929 re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (talking sequences, musical score and sound effects) (1929 re-release)| Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On October 31, 2008, this film was screened at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with live musical accompaniment by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Ads contained a tag line that was a clever twist on that for Alien (1979): "In silent films, no one can hear you scream". See more »

Goofs

1929 cut: The flickering of lights just before the chandelier fall are on faders during the re-shot footage. During the cross-cutting with the 1925 footage, however, they are on breakers. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Sanctuary of song lovers, The Paris Opera House, rising nobly over medieval torture chambers, hidden dungeons, long forgotten.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In 1925 (and for many years afterwards), credits used to appear at the beginning of movies. In "The Phantom of the Opera", the credits do appear at the beginning and are also 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 »

Connections

Featured in Grey's Anatomy: In the Midnight Hour (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Chaney outshines everyone.
19 December 2001 | by jondarisSee all my reviews

Chaney is best known today for two roles: Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and Erik in "The Phantom of the Opera." The pair contrast the human response to physical deformity. While Quasimodo searches for kindness and acts to protect his home and loved ones, Erik shuns humanity and in his hatred and isolation becomes truly evil.

Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) is the understudy at the Paris Opera house, an ancient structure built over a network of torture chambers and interconnecting cellars. Rumors abound of a ghost or phantom who stalks the halls, and even rents his own box for the performances. With the help of this mysterious stranger, Daae becomes the lead diva.

Daae, apparently fine with her benefactor's use of extortion and mass murder to help her career, dumps her boyfriend Raoul (Norman Kerry) and follows the masked Phantom into the bowels of the opera house. She is, however, sensitive enough to collapse in a faint at the discovery that her benefactor is the legendary Phantom, and at his profession of love for her.

Awakening, she discovers herself in a lavish bedroom he has prepared for her, with her name engraved on a hand mirror. But upon snatching off the Phantom's mask, she realizes that he isn't Prince Charming after all, but hideously deformed, with a skull-like face.

The Phantom returns her to the opera, telling her that she must never see Raoul again. Upon reflection, however, Christine decides that looks and sanity are more important to her in a lover than she originally thought, and makes plans to meet Raoul at the annual masked ball. Raoul, neither particularly brave or smart, suggests that the two of them hightail it out of town. Christine, not one to run before her chance at the big time, suggests that they flee after the following evening's performance. Erik, of course, is listening in.

At that point Erik drops his nice-guy facade, hangs a stagehand who discovers his trap door, kidnaps Christine and flees into the cellars. He is hotly pursued by Raoul and a Secret Police inspector, who are followed by Raoul's brother, who is followed by angry mob led by the murdered stagehand's brother.

Erik, meanwhile, is trying to convince Christine of his capacity to reform ("No longer like a toad in these foul cellars will I secrete the venom of hatred -- for you shall bring me love!"). Alas, his plans to become a good husband are interrupted by the need to bump off a few of his pursuers, using elaborate boody traps and alarms throughout the dungeons.

The final minute of the movie is perhaps the best, with Erik's final gesture proving that his mental ability far outweighs that of anyone else in the film. He goes out in style, leaving the dim-witted Raoul and his amoral girlfriend to live happily ever after.

The two best things are Chaney's over-the-top performance as Erik and the spectacular sets. Chaney had a way of making any other actors in a film appear flat and lifeless, and this is no exception. The elaborate set of the opera house and the gothic appearance of the dungeons are still impressive, and the tinting and two-strip technicolor in the Bal Masque sequence look great.

"Phantom" is rousing horror/adventure, while "Hunchback" was a touching allegorical film. The latter is better and more serious, but "Phantom" is still some of the most fun it's possible to have before a movie screen.


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