The Phantom Of The Opera Blu-ray
Fans of the silent film version of “The Phantom Of The Opera” will be thrilled by this Blu-ray release.
Unless you have been living under an opera house like Erik (AKA the Phantom), the plot of “The Phantom Of The Opera” shouldn’t be a secret as it’s been told and retold a countless number of times in virtually ever entertainment mediums. It’s a pretty straight forward horror film with themes about music, obsession, control and love. The real reason the film manages to connect with audiences, however, is because of the Phantom himself. He’s a fascinating monster with a heart and he’s never been portrayed better on screen than in the silent film version starring Lon Chaney. Chaney does a masterful job of making the character come alive, but the makeup work is also effective and arguably ahead of its time. He genuinely looks frightening as opposed to the Phantom in the 2004 musical film version.
Chaney aside, the direction and production design also deserves much praise. The use of shadows, the impressive sets, the creation of suspense at the reveal of the Phantom are all expertly done.
Summary: If you aren’t scared off by silent films, “The Phantom Of The Opera” stands as one of the best there is. Recommended.
Note: This Blu-ray disc contains 3 versions of “The Phantom Of The Opera”. There’s the 78 minute 1929 reissue, the 92 minute 1929 reissue, and the original 114 minute 1925 version which fleshes out more elements (perhaps too much).
Since this is the first silent film I have viewed on Blu-ray, I was naturally curious to see how the film would like. For the most part, the two 1929 reissues look pretty impressive. While there’s grain and scratches galore, the prints have been cleaned up. Astute viewers will notice that the actors and actresses faces are much more visible and that the multi colored tints are brighter. Both 1929 reissue versions are presented in 1.2:1 while the 1925 version is presented in 1.37:1.
I wish I could say the 1925 version looks good, but alas, it is in really poor shape. The print looks like an old, worn out VHS copy at best.
Each version of the film has their own audio track. The 78 minute 1929 reissue allows viewers to play the film with the Alloy Orchestra score (which I don’t recommend) and Gayford Carter’s organ score which is fitting to the film. The 92 minute 1929 reissue has the best score of the bunch thanks to composer Gabriel Thibaudeau. Lastly, the original 1925 version has a decent piano score by Frederick Hodges.
* Theatrical trailer for “The Phantom Of The Opera”.
* A scripted commentary by Jon Misralis. Expect lots of trivia and facts about the film. This track will certainly appear to film buffs and film historians,
* Photo gallery
* Script for the film.
* Souvenir program.
* A PBS featurette about Montreal composer Gabriel Thibaudeau from 2004.
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