Phantom Of The Opera

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 46


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,437
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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 much-feared fiend who haunts the Paris Opera House. Lurking around the damp, dank passages deep in the cellars of the theater, he secretly coaches understudy Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) to be an opera star. Through a startling sequence of terrors, including sending a giant chandelier crashing down on the opera patrons, the Phantom forces the lead soprano to withdraw from the opera, permitting Christine to step in. Luring Christine into his subterranean lair below the opera house, the Phantom confesses his love. But Christine is in love with Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry). The Phantom demands that Christine break off her relationship with Raoul before he'll allow her to return to the opera house stage. She agrees, but immediately upon her release from the Phantom's lair, she runs into the arms of Raoul and they plan to flee to England after her performance that night. The Phantom overhears their conversation and, during her performance, the Phantom kidnaps Christine, taking her to the depths of his dungeon. It is left to Raoul and Simon Buquet (Gibson Gowland), a secret service agent, to track down the Phantom and rescue Christine.

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Lon Chaney
as The Phantom
Mary Philbin
as Christine Daae
Norman Kerry
as Raoul de Chagny
Snitz Edwards
as Florine Papillon
Edward Martindel
as Philippe de Chagny
John St. Polis
as Philippe de Chagny [silent version]
Edith Yorke
as Mama Valerius
Anton Vaverka
as Prompter
Bernard Siegel
as Joseph Buguet
Olive Ann Alcorn
as La Sorelli
George B. Williams
as Mons. Ricard
Bruce Covington
as Mons. Moncharmin
Alexander Bevani
as Mephistopheles
Ward Crane
as Count Ruboff
John Miljan
as Valentine
George B. William
as M. Richard, manager
William Tryoler
as Director of Opera Orchestra
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Critic Reviews for Phantom Of The Opera

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (11)

Audience Reviews for Phantom Of The Opera

  • Oct 22, 2016
    A classic adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, it became more of a horror film but it provided some haunting (yet beautiful) imagery as well as the master acting of legendary Lon Chaney.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2013
    Christine is being controlled by the Phantom and teared away from her love Vicomte because of it. There are some scenes in this film that you can imagine would have been really exciting in 1925. Still today, the Phantom has the coolest looking face of an antagonist. Ever. I never get tired of looking at it, it's amazed me since day one. Phantom of the Opera is holds a royal seat in the kingdom of horror.
    Horrific R Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2012
    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.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2012
    Well, at least I can say I have seen the original now.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer

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