Pit violinist Claudin hopelessly loves rising operatic soprano Christine Dubois (as do baritone Anatole and police inspector Raoul) and secretly aids her career. But Claudin loses both his touch and his job, murders a rascally music publisher in a fit of madness, and has his face etched with acid. Soon, mysterious crimes plague the Paris Opera House, blamed on a legendary "phantom" whom none can find in the mazes and catacombs. But both of Christine's lovers have plans to ferret him out.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Universal Studios' stage 28 floor-foot print, built for the 1925 B&W Lon Chaney "Phantom of the Opera" feature film, is enormous. The European horseshoe Paris Opera Theatre's three tiered box audience seating area surrounds the floor audience ramped area. The master wide-shot from the top rear box seat area encompasses the stage proscenium, orchestra pit, and the chandelier. The top of the interior theatre ceiling master shot is completed with a matte painting. The audience area is one third of the stage's foot print. The North end of stage 28 encompasses the raised stage area. What really makes this stage unique is that in 1925, an elaborate 30'-0" diameter mechanical turntable sits in the center of the front stage area, allowing forty (40) feet from the back edge of the turntable to the rear stage back-wall. The basement of stage 28 houses the original turntable mechanical mechanism to turn the 30' diameter turntable. All of the mechanics for the turntable have remained intact, sitting in their original structural position. The turntable centers on a center cylindrical shaft, with triangular inverted bracing branches, welded to the center shaft, similar to an inverted umbrella brace. The entire weight of the turntable is thrust upon this center turning spindle. After the original film was completed, the turntable area of the stage floor was covered with three layers of 3/4" thick plywood 4'-0" x 10'-0" sheets, which allowed future film sets to be built upon the turntable stage area for feature filming. When a camera crane is used on the stage, allowances have to be considered with the turntable's floor position, related to the film set requirements. The original stage had a theatre pin rail system with hanging pipe arbors for electrical lights, existing on the stage right area. The raised stage area was utilized for feature film "process photography" because of the depth required for a film projector onto a rear screen, enough room for a camera and crew, with an acting/performance area in front of the screen. The projector camera has to be in direct center of the filming camera's lens point of view position, with a depth of field allowance. The 1943 Universal Studios Technicolor remake of "Phantom of the Opera" stripped the plywood floor covering in order to utilize the turntable for the film's stage production numbers. The turntable mechanism was tuned up and used. After this 1943 film was completed, the stage flooring was installed covering the turntable. The turntable has never been used since the 1943 feature film. The interior Opera House theatre has been filmed, and the production stage area of stage 28 has been host to many feature and television films. See more »
When Claudin (Claude Rains) is being tested by the maestro, his fingering of the violin's strings do not match the vibrato produced. See more »
Mademoiselle, may I speak to you for a minute?
Why, of course.
You weren't on the stage tonight for the third act curtain call.
Everyone seems to notice. It's really quite flattering.
Why weren't you there?
[Christine is puzzled]
Forgive me, but I have been a part of the Opera for so long. Everybody, everything connected with it, I feel it is so much a part of my life.
[Christine pauses, then smiles]
Yes, well, Monsieur Villeneuve is waiting for you.
You weren't ill, were you?...
[...] See more »
Horror may be muted...but the music is glorious...
Before writing a film article on Claude Rains for CLASSIC IMAGES (December 2000), I took another look at 'Phantom' to appraise his performance. He's one of those rare actors who can make you feel sympathy when he plays the ill-treated violinist so that you understand why he turns into 'The Phantom'. His performance is just one asset of this handsome technicolor adaptation of the famous story. Why carp about the changes made for this version? It stands on its own as an entertaining melodrama studded with operatic sequences that give it added dimension. Nelson Eddy has never been in better voice and Susanna Foster is certainly up to the demands of her singing role. The comic aspects of the story are a bit overdone and the only weakness of the film is giving Eddy and Edgar Barrier silly routines as they compete for the hand of Foster. Aside from that, this can still be enjoyed as a horror story set against the Paris Opera background. The sets are rich and detailed. Understandably, the film won Academy Awards for color cinematography and color art direction. Edward Ward's haunting score was also nominated and contributes greatly to the overall enjoyment of the film. The horror is muted in this version--but the rich musical highlights are a compensation. Absorbing entertainment.
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