Beneath the sewers of the Paris Opera House dwells a masked figure. He is the Phantom, a hideously disfigured composer whose dream is to turn chorus singer Christine into a diva. Lon Chaney, the “Man of a Thousand Faces”, dominates this classic adaptation of the 1910 novel. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this one of the great classics of American silent film.
“Minima turned the 1925 Phantom of the Opera into an immersive and gripping emotional experience.” (Swansea International Festival)
Film critic Roger Ebert said in 2004 that “it has always been a question whether The Phantom of the Opera is a great film, or only a great spectacle.” Either way, to see this film in 1925 was a truly shocking experience. Fast-moving and exciting, the film is a dramatic tale of obsession, kidnap, murder and revenge, beautifully tinted throughout and featuring an impressive sequence of early Technicolor as the Phantom appears at a masked ball.
This is the original film version of Phantom which inspired numerous remakes. It was a critical and commercial success upon release, as these press quotes from the time contest: an “ultra fantastic melodrama” (New York Times); “produced on a stupendous scale” (Moving Picture World); “probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened” (Variety).
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