The Phantom Of The Opera
- USA, 1925
- directed by Rupert julian
- Silent with original orchestral score
- colour, 93 minutes
- Certificate: PG
- Date Released: July 2002
- Special Collector’s Edition
- Fully restored
- Digital Stereo Orchestral Score
- Remastered to correct running speed
- Essay by R Dixon Smith and narrated by Russell Cawthorn
- Colour tinting to the original 1925 specification
- Bal Masque sequence in original Technicolor
Eureka! Classics | SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION
Chaney’s genius for mime and his ability to bring humanity to the most deformed of creatures make for a phantom that has yet to be surpassed, a creature both terrifying and tender, and one of the defining performances of all silent cinema. Some scenes were even directed by an uncredited Chaney, and the sheer visual power of the film has rarely been equalled. A thrilling experience with chase sequences in the dungeons beneath the Paris Opera House to compare with Indiana Jones. Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, once confessed that he owed his entire career to the inspirational unmasking scene.
Gaston Leroux, the author of The Phantom of the Opera, stated in his novel that the Phantom actually existed and was not a fabrication of his imagination. Many executives at Universal Studios probably would have agreed with the author, as they felt their cinematic version of the novel had been cursed by the Phantom himself.
In retrospect, given the numerous dilemmas which befell the production from the very beginning, it is amazing that the film was ever released, let alone to be considered as one of the classics of silent cinema.
Regarded by many as the first great horror film, and certainly the best of the silent era, the earliest version of The Phantom of the Opera stars Lon Chaney, the man of a thousand faces. Chaney is Erik, the horribly disfigured Phantom who leads a menacing existence in the catacombs and dungeons beneath the Paris Opera.
When Erik falls in love with a beautiful prima donna, he kidnaps her and holds her hostage in his lair, where he is destined to have a showdown with her fiancé and the secret police. When the movie was first released, it shocked audiences across the world, and many weak hearted patrons fainted at the sight of Chaney’s hideous make-up.
The Phantom of the Opera stands as an awesome monument to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Special Collector’s Edition
Fully restored, digitally remastered
Colour Tinted and Technicolor sequence
Directed by Rupert Julian
Presented by Carl Laemmle
Scenario by Edward T. Loew, Jr.
Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s novel by Raymond Schrock and Elliott
Photographed by Virgil Miller, Charles Van Enger and Milton Briednbecker
Art Direction by Charles D. Hall
Starring Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Snitz Edwards
Music Produced by Francine Allaire
Please note : This edition of The Phantom of the Opera has been newly mastered at the visually correct running speed of 20 frames per second from a 35mm priest. It is colour tinted according to the specifications of an original Universal Pictures cutting continuity and the Bal Masque sequence is in its original two-colour Technicolor.
There is a new orchestral score composed by Gabriel Thibaudoux and recorded in digital stereo by the I Musici De Montreal with Claudine Cote, soprano. The film itself is a version prepared for reissue in 1929 with the ballet and opera sequences retaken and the remainder fully re-edited by Walter Anthony. Only in this version does The Phantom of the Opera survive in prime quality 35mm material.