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>
Of the three "operas" in the film, only the first, "Marta," by Friedrich von Flotow, is an actual opera. The second, "Amore et Gloire," is adapted from music originally written for piano by Frédéric Chopin: the overture and opening chorus is taken from the "Military" Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1; the duet between Anatole and Biancarolli is taken from the Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2; and the music for Christine's aria/duet with Anatole is taken from the Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2. The music of the third opera, "Le Prince Masque de Caucasie," is actually excerpts from the finale of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Fourth Symphony". See more »
The use of a stunt-double for Claude Rains at the climactic cave-in is very obvious! The double has a bigger physique than Rains, and curly hair. See more »
[Christine has left Raoul and Anatole in her dressing room while she greets a crowd of admirers]
Would you join me for a bit of supper at the Cafe de l'Opera?
With pleasure, monsieur.
Think we can get through this crowd?
Certainly. After all, who'd pay any attention to a baritone and a detective?
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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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