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At the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta and thus forces her to give up her role (Marguerite in Faust) for unknown Christine Daae. Christine meets this phantom (a masked man) in the catacombs, where he lives. What's his goal ? What's his secret ? Written by
The opening credits are accurate to the 1929 re-edited version, listing Mary Fabian as Carlotta and Virginia Pearson as Carlotta's mother, however the ending credits still credit Pearson as Carlotta. This is due to the fact that the "1929" cut is actually made of two negatives: one from a 1929 silent version and one from the original 1925 version. It's most likely that the credit sequence is from the latter. See more »
His eyes are ghastly beads in which there is no light - like holes in a grinning skull! His face is like leprous parchment, yellow skin strung tight over protruding bones! His nose - there is no nose!
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None of the technical staff of this film receives screen credit. See more »
The pathos of Lon Chaney gave the Phantom its dimension...
Lon Chaney was the first of the long line of Phantoms and the one against whom all his successors had to be measured
The story, despite all its alternatives, is the familiar one of the musician avoiding the world because of his disfigurement and retreating to a hideout beneath the Opera House, from where he emerges to terrorize singers and audience alike
He kidnaps a young girl singer perhaps to teach her to become a great star; certainly because, in his grotesque and pathetic way, he loves her and carries her off to a boudoir he has prepared far underground
There was melodrama in plenty: in the first version, for example, two would-be rescuers found themselves trapped in an uncomfortable mirrored room the Phantom had prepared, where they first got a heat treatment and then were flooded
But, beyond all the heightened effects, it was the pathos of the Phantom underscoring his lonely menace which gave the character a dimension, and the isolation of the captor and his captive, imprisoned to a literal underworld, which gave the suspense of the whole film its power
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