The corrupt Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Michael Gough) steals the life's work of the poor composer Professor L. Petrie. (Herbert Lom). In an attempt to stop the printing of music with D'Arcy's name on it, Petrie breaks into the printing office and accidentally starts a fire, leaving him severely disfigured. Years later, Petrie returns to terrorize a London opera house that is about to perform one of his stolen operas.Written by
Jeremy Lunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A subplot involving a pair of Scotland Yard police inspectors on the trail of the Phantom was shot especially for the American TV version (by the TV companies, not by Hammer). This was a regular occurrence in this era, most notably with Hammer's films The Kiss of the Vampire and The Evil of Frankenstein. See more »
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges opus 34 nº2 (On Wings of Song)
Music by Johann Strauss
Sung in english See more »
Off with the mask again
In this version of The Phantom Of The Opera, the hideous phantom lurks in the sewers and catacombs of London instead of Paris. And in this third version bits of a real opera by British composer Edwin Astley highlight the musical portion of the film. That's important because in this telling of the tale, the phantom has a singular interest in this particular work.
Stepping into the shoes of Lon Chaney and Claude Rains is Herbert Lom. Because this film is done in flashback Lom is given less of a chance to create his character in the way his predecessors did. Still Lom as he did in Night And The City manages to get across both the poignancy and the evil that he's sunk to. I would also compare his characterization of Professor Petri here with what he did in Flame Over India where he got across sympathy for a character who was a terrorist.
The truly evil one here is Michael Gough who is a classic Victorian rakehell whom if he were slightly of better character and given to a bit of introspection, we could hear some Oscar Wilde aphorisms coming out of his mouth. But his Lord D'Arcy hasn't got any redeeming features whatsover. Kind of like Liberty Valance which also came out in 1962.
The young lovers here are producer Edward DeSouza and Heather Sears the singer that Lom takes an interest in. I looked to see who might have dubbed Sears for the opera sequences and found no credit. If she did it herself, truly remarkable and why didn't that part of her talent be better known.
I saw an edited version of this on YouTube and I'm convinced they involved the end of some characters in a ghastly fashion. I'd like to see a director's cut if possible.
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