In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.
Peter Graham Scott
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The film takes place in 1890 and December 1900. See more »
During the flashback sequence, Ambrose D'Arcy writes his own name on the title page of one of Professor Petrie's manuscripts, which is called Symphony No. 1. The word 'symphony,' however, is clearly and incorrectly spelled 'symphany.' The spelling is corrected on the printed copies of the music seen later. See more »
The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC for an 'A' (PG) certificate and edited the eye-stabbing of the rat-catcher and shots of a hanging body, as well as extensive edits to scenes showing the creation and final unmasking of the Phantom. Later video and DVD releases were uncut. See more »
Each "Phantom of the Opera" deviates somewhat from the Leroux novel - with the original silent film with Lon Chaney perhaps being the exception. In the '40s Nelson Eddy version, the police chief and an operatic baritone are Christine's suitors instead of Raoul (though the baritone is named Raoul) and it's hinted that the Phantom is her father. His acid in the face was the result of a misunderstanding at the music publisher's.
In this particular "Phantom," from Hammer Studios, the Phantom (Herbert Lom) has an Igor-type assistant, and here Christine's suitor is the manager of the opera house (Edward de Souza). There is also a real villain, a plagiarist in the form of Lord d'Arcy (Michael Gough). Most notably, it has a production of "Joan of Arc" with music written by Edwin T. Astley that is actually very pretty and beautifully sung.
Everyone does a terrific job in this - Gough is hateful as the supposed composer of the opera; de Souza is a hunk and a good romantic interest for Christine; and Heather Sears as Christine is very sweet and, like all Christines, lacking the diva quality her rival has. In this film, the rival singer is a very minor role. The dubbing of the voices is wonderful.
Herbert Lom, normally a comic character in the "Pink Panther" series, is a great phantom, performed at a time when the Phantom didn't have to be better-looking than the ingénue. The Phantom is not a huge role in this film, but an effective and highly sympathetic one. He seems a little less nuts than some of them, though he's clearly not completely there.
The final scene of this film is very exciting, and the final picture very powerful and sad. This is a really excellent version with not much emphasis on the horror aspects of the Chaney film. It has good production values and is very well directed.
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