The Phantom of the Opera

The greatest horror film of modern cinema!

Drama Horror
107 min     7.1     1925     USA


The deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House causes murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star.


CinemaSerf wrote:
When then famed Paris Opera finds new owners, they are full of enthusiasm for their star "Carlotta" (Mary Fabian) whom they know will wow the audiences. Both she and they, though, get a letter informing them that should she take the stage instead of her understudy "Christine" (Mary Philbin) then they'll all rue the day. Nobody pays a blind bit of notice and, well, the audience really do bring the house down! Using the enchantment of his voice, and promises of success, the "Phantom" (Lon Chaney) manages to lure the young "Christine" to his lair some five floors beneath the stage where he declares his undying love. She's more interested in the mask that he's wearing, and upon it's removal is abhorred. She begs to go free and he agrees - provided she spurns her lover "Raoul" (Norman Kerry). She does quite the opposite however and that antagonises her admirer to the point where life and limb are threatened and even the opera house itself could end up in smithereens. It all builds to a marvellous climax - a race against time, against flood waters and gunpowder - if "Raoul" is to save his love from their clearly insane nemesis. A lot will spend on the accompanying music here, but if you get a good score then this film really does come alive. The sparing use of colour - especially as Chaney straddles the gargoyle atop the roof of the building, but also during some of the theatrical scenes contrasts well with the rather more drab monochrome scenes. The creative use of light and shadow to create a genuine sense of peril and, at times, even desperation as the story develops is also enthralling to watch. A great story of love and obsession on a big screen with a live pianist - this takes some beating.