The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Phantom2.jpg
Genre: Thriller
Suspense
Horror
Drama
Starring: Lon Chaney
Mary Philbin
Norman Kerry
Arthur Edmund Carewe
Gibson Gowland
Release Date: November 25, 1925 (original version)
1930 (sound reissue)
Country: United States


The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 silent horror, suspense, thriller, drama film.  It was directed by Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney,  Ernst Laemmle, and Edward Sedgwick, written by Walter Anthony, Elliot J. Clawson, Bernard McConville, Frank M. McCormack, Tom Reed, Raymond L. Schrock, Jasper Spearing, and Richard Wallace, musically composed by Gustav Hinrichs, filmed by Milton Bridenbecker, Virgil Miller, and Charles Van Enger, edited by Edward Curtiss, Maurice Pivar, Gilmore Walker, and Lois Weber, produced by Carl Laemmle and Jewel Productions, distributed by Universal Pictures, and starring Lon Chaney Senior, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund, Carewe, Carla Laemmle, and Gibson Gowland.  It was based on a novel of the same name written by Gaston Leroux and released on September 23, 1909.

Why It Rocks

  1. Phenomenal visual acting by all of the actors, especially by Lon Chaney Senior.  Growing up his parents were deaf, and he mastered the art of communication through body language; because of this, he is the most expressive and talented person in the entire movie.  
  2. Incredible makeup work on the Phantom's face.  He looks both scary and sympathetic at the same time.  
  3. Excellent writing.  
  4. The film popularized a classic story that has not only been adapted many more times afterward, but many clichés in this movie have been reused in unrelated films as well.  
  5. The Phantom is a great character.  He's both scary and sympathetic, evil and tragic.  His story is the driving force of the film.  
  6. The film is in black and white only helps to enhance the haunting, creepy, and tense nature of the movie.  
  7. While the film was obviously originally in black and white, there are some colorized scenes in the movie, which looks very unique and interesting.  

Reception

The Phantom of the Opera has received critical acclaim over the years and is considered one of the best and most important horror films of the silent era and of all time.  It has a 91% critic rating and 83% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 7.7/10 on the International Movie Database, and a 3.8/5 on Letterboxd.

Trivia

  • The original 1925 version is in the public domain.

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