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Phantom Of The Opera

Phantom Of The Opera (1925)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 4

Decades later, it still retains its ability to scare -- and Lon Chaney's performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.

73

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

Decades later, it still retains its ability to scare -- and Lon Chaney's performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 17,053

My Rating

Movie Info

Lon Chaney stars as Erik, the Phantom, in what is probably his most famous and certainly his most horrifying role. Produced by Universal, the film shot in 1923 and shelved for nearly two years, and was subjected to intensive studio tinkering. While many expected a disaster, the film turned out to be a rousing success. It was both the stepping off point for Chaney's run as a superstar at MGM and the prototype for the horror film cycle at Universal in the 1930s. The story concerns Erik, a

Unrated,

Drama, Horror, Classics

Raymond L. Schrock, Elliott J. Clawson

Oct 15, 1997

Universal Pictures

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Latest News on Phantom Of The Opera

March 16, 2005:
Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival 2005
A 70-mm French comedy by Jacques Tati will open my 7th annual Overlooked Film Festival this April,...

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (4) | DVD (9)

The atmosphere matches Chaney's performance perfectly. His grotesque appearance is achieved with wires, cotton balls, and eye-dilating chemicals, but his character, as usual, is animated from within.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lon Chaney's performance as the hideous organist prowling the sewers beneath the Paris Opera is still a cornerstone of gothic horror.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A grand, pulpy potboiler of a suspense melodrama.

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Mr. Chaney wears a more grotesque make-up than ever, the film play seems only pretty good.

October 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (2)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The main inducement to watch remains Chaney's tragic, ineffably sad figure.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kerry is a colorless hero, Philbin contents herself with being pretty and becoming terrorized at the Phantom, and Chaney is either behind a mask or grimacing through his fiendish makeup.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An eerie mixture of poetry, gothic melodrama and a surreal Feuillade-style serial.

January 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Despite outdated acting techniques and staging, this is a must-see for all cinema buffs, as make-up genius Lon Chaney's Phantom is a Hall of Horror landmark.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

If it wasn't quite the match of the fright fests that were being made over in Europe during this decade (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), it was certainly one of the most epic American undertakings this side of D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It succeeds in spite of itself and it's all thanks to Chaney. The man of a thousand faces imbues this character with bravado and menace.

October 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Lon Chaney delivers an awesome performance in this fine adaptation of the original Gaston Leroux novel.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

[A] silent classic.

August 12, 2008

Lon Chaney's magnetism and the overall impact of the suspense and reveal is still impressive.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Spectacular set pieces and grand design form an impressive backdrop for Chaney's powerful and moving performance.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

This silent film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel is one of the classics in the history of the horror genre.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter
ESplatter

Lon Chaney's performance is priceless.

July 15, 2008
ColeSmithey.com

While many chunks of the film are indeed effective (and several downright terrifying), the overall effect is bipolar.

April 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

One of the most famous horror movies of all time, The Phantom of the Opera still manages to frighten after more than 60 years.

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Phantom Of The Opera

Lon Chaney is so incredibly expressive that he makes the rest of the film's cast look lifeless in comparison. Along with the incredible make-up job, Chaney brings out the un-predictable behavior and confused nature of the title character. He was truly one of the quintessential silent actors. Not only is Chaney's turn as the Phantom incredibly memorable, the film's sets are also something to behold. The production value shows off the big budget that was spent on this movie, especially with sets like the ballroom, grand opera house, and the Phantom's dark dungeon. During the ballroom sequence the movie mysteriously turns into color for a brief time, which does a great job in highlighting the Phantoms red costume. A huge hit in its initial release, "The Phantom of the Opera" set the standard for other Universal horror flicks to come. The film may not be able to scare as much as it did back in 1925, but it still retains a fun chilling atmosphere throughout. A definitive silent horror classic.
May 15, 2012
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Well, at least I can say I have seen the original now.
March 1, 2012
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Remember that musical you grew up with that was made into a pretty good movie by a pretty bad director? This is that but without all the good music, pretty girls, or characteristic mask.
I guess the reason this is considered a horror classic is Lon Chaney's ugly face; he's got a big, toothy sneer, and he moves like an animated skeleton. Maybe I've seen too many modern horror films in which the makeup effects are so advanced that they put the older stuff to shame, but no effect registered in me during Chaney's famous reveal scene.
More to the point, the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice version turns Christine's ultimate rejection of the Phantom into a question of the seduction of darkness versus the purity of Raoul's romantic affection, evidenced by the first lines of "All I Ask of You": "No more talk of darkness; forget these wide-eyed fears; I'm here." In this version, Raoul struts and prances like he's constantly posing for a bronze to be erected at the entrance of the theater, and his attachment to Christine is more about possession than affection.
And I think we're to understand that The Phantom's ugly exterior is supposed to be evidence for an uglier interior that Christine discovers once she sees his face. Of course, it's true that The Phantom is truly unhinged, dropping chandeliers on people and drowning invaders of his underground hideaway, but Christine's judgment of his seems premature and superficial. Even though it's true that I rarely see hot women with men that ugly, as far as the story is concerned, Christine comes off as unlikable - to the film's detriment.
Overall, this is a case in which the remake is much better than the classic.
November 5, 2011
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

This is the second Phantom movie I've seen the first was the 40s version, and I liked this movie a lot better. The story is clearer, the phantom is creepier, and it's more exciting. It does get to feel a little long towards the end, because it says it's only 70 some minutes, but the version I saw was over 100 minutes. At least in this one you don't have to listen to the opera singers. Overall, a really good movie, I enjoyed it.
November 16, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Phantom Of The Opera

    1. The Phantom: The callers have departed.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. The Phantom: Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. Christine Daae: You. You are the Phantom!
    2. The Phantom: If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me.
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. The Phantom: She is singing to bring down the chandelier!
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
    1. The Phantom: Feast your eyes! Glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!
    – Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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