NEW ON DVDAll Night LongInterview With A Murderer Day Of The Jackal, TheHousesitterHacksaw RidgePawnoAuthor: The JT LeRoy StoryMahanaLight Between Oceans, The Cafe SocietyGirl On The Train, The Captain FantasticDavid Brent: Life On The RoadSing Street EqualsElvis & Nixon Where To Invade Next
Phantom Of The Opera, The (1925)Australia 1925
Directed by Rupert Julian
Running time 101 minutes
Here, horror stalwart Lon Chaney in one of his classic roles, plays the Phantom and Mary Philbin is Christine Daaé, the girl he tragically dotes on. Produced by Ernst Laemmle, who also directed although he is uncredited for this, the film has some Expressionist qualities, particularly in the presentation of the Phantom’s underground world. Making the appropriate technical concessions this is still impressive film-making with Chaney’s cadaverous unmasked skull wildly grimacing at the camera being an iconic image in the history of film horror. The film’s original ending which gave the Phantom his redemption was replaced after it failed to resonate with test audiences to be replaced with the stock angry-torch-bearing-mob-pursue-monster-to-his-death ending that lessens the film but it is still an impressive effort.
FYI: Although originally released at 101 mins, the film was re-released as a sound film in 1929 and there have been versions with various running times doing the rounds since then.