The Phantom of the Opera - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Phantom of the Opera Reviews

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½ October 9, 2016
A very classy and rich take on the Phantom story. Michael Gough is wonderfully sleazy in this and Herbert Lom pulls off creepy and pitiable all at once.
½ March 6, 2016
The film (like many a-Hammer) is absolutely bursting with interesting character study and Victorian cliche (see Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde for the ultimate in cobbled streets, grimey urchins and chim-chiminee sweeps). Michael Ripper appears at one point (under extreme make-up) as a cabby, and the old women in the theatre's lost property section are a scream - Harry Enfield's Old Gits 20 years before he'd even thought of teaming up with Paul Whitehouse (and stealing all his mate's best ideas. Hmmm...)

There's also Patrick Troughton as the rat catcher: "They make a luvverly pie, y'know..." Who's own little cameo is cut drastically short by a knife in the eye.

Herbert Lom, however, might as well not be in it. His Phantom is pretty lacklustre, skulking in shadows and letting an evil dwarf do all the dirty work. Apparently, Cary Grant was interested in the role originally (how bizarre would that have been?), his squeaky clean image necessitating the writing-in of someone to actually do the murders for him. But in the end he pulled out. Tosser.
½ May 19, 2015
Borrowing elements from the 40's Universal film and the original story, it's bit of a mixed bag that doesn't flow together too well, but is still pretty interesting. The characters are alright, and there are some bits of nice scenery. The ending feels a bit cheap though, and doesn't deliver quite the same climax with the falling chandelier.
February 6, 2015
From Hammer Films, and directed by Hammer veteran Terence Fisher, (The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958)), this one came about after Hammer joined forces with Universal Pictures, who owned the screen rights to Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. With Hammer's reputation as a successful horror studio on the rise, this was a great project for them, and it shows. Set in Victorian London in 1900 at the London Opera House, a new opera by the pompous Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Michael Gough) is plagued by incidents at the hands of an alleged Phantom. This puts D'Arcy at loggerheads with opera house manager Lattimer (Thorley Walters). Meanwhile, chorus girl Christine Charles (Heather Sears) hears voices, something opera producer Harry Hunter (Edward de Souza) reassures her over. When more accidents occur, D'Arcy resigns as does the shows star Maria (Liane Aukin). Then, Christine comes into contact with the Phantom (Herbert Lom), who explains why he sabotages the opera, and the vendetta he has against D'Arcy. This is a very lavish film, and the production, including the opera scenes are very well staged. However, it was a troubled production, which went over budget and even Fisher fell out of favour with Hammer for a few years, which is a shame, as it's actually a good one.
August 4, 2013
A Hammer Horror version of Phantom that turns out to be nowhere near as bad as one might expect. The Phantom's mask is a bit rubbish and they seem to have forgotten the story should be set in Paris, but everything else is perfectly decent. I enjoyed it rather more than I ought to. 6.5/10
½ October 12, 2012
'The Phantom of the Opera' is the Hammer Horror Film treatment on the classic story by Gaston Leroux. This is mainly a remake of Universal's 'Phantom of the Opera' from 1943. This time, Herbert Lom portrays Professor Petrie, the Phantom. I enjoyed his performance and his voice because his voice is very suitable for the Phantom character. I also thought that the music for the Joan of Arc opera was absolutely wonderful. Hammer horror film veteran Michael Gough portrays the antagonist Lord Ambrose d'Arcy. I greatly enjoyed Michael Gough's scenery-chewing performance as the thieving and cruel Lord d'Arcy. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this film mainly for the music and performances by Herbert Lom and Michael Gough.
½ October 8, 2012
One of the finest Hammer films you're likely to see. This Phantom switches things up a bit by being mainly a detective story instead of a horror-romance. Equal parts silly and creepy, this incarnation of The Phantom makes for quite possibly the best introduction to Hammer Horror you can find. Highly recommended for newcomers to Hammer. Personally, I was surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed this film despite it's almost non-existent climax.
½ September 16, 2011
It starts off on the right path, hitting excellent beats in both horror and drama, but it almost seems to get lost in the final act. It had an excellent pace, but there seemed to be some key moments missing in the end; unresolved issues. Still, it's a solid flick and definitly continues to showcase Fisher's talents that were ahead of his time.
July 11, 2011
Creepy Hammer film adaption that goes well with their other brilliant adaptions like The Horror of Dracula and The Curse of Frankenstein.
March 14, 2011
Good movie but it seems they bit off the 1925 & 1943 and put it in one.
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2011
This is from the Hammer Horror Collection, this is my first exposure to the Phantom of the Opera, I've never read it or have seen the play or the movie until now and Hammer Films has done an excellent job of putting for a 1962 Horror Film, which I am sure kept many couple out of the back seat at the drive in's. Beyond any doubt a British Release. I can give this no less then 4 1/2 stars.
November 12, 2010
The movie really falls apart in the last act, when the liberties taken with the plot just start to become goofy--turning the Phantom into more or less a complete hero just doesn't work here, and the little hunchback henchman is entirely perfunctory and underdeveloped, especially considering he usurps most of the Phantom's role, including responsibility for at least two murders. It's not so much that Gaston Leroux is untouchable--they just dropped the ball here. Still, the first hour of this undersung Hammer horror adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera" is astonishingly good--my favorite Hammer horror film I've seen so far (admittedly, I've only seen a couple). Terence Fisher's direction is pitch-perfect--the story is taut and efficiently told, and the cast could not be better. Surprisingly, once he gets his time in the spotlight the Phantom comes off as one of the least interesting characters--Herbert Lom is much more memorable as the deliciously sinister Lord Ambrose, and even the young lovers, played by Heather Sears and Edward de Souza, are actually incredibly charming, likable, sympathetic, and interesting. It's rare that a romantic subplot from a 1960s horror-melodrama B-movie is something one actually invests in, but the romance, atmosphere, and intrigue carry this thing along something fierce for a long time. In fact, while Lon Chaney is definitive (as Max Schreck and Bela Legosi are to vampires, so is Chaney to the Phantom--every iteration is built on the foundation he created), the first hour of Hammer's "Phantom" is maybe even better than the Chaney film--moody, moving, fun, creepy, romantic, and with some very memorable bits (the part early on where the dude gets hanged is wonderfully executed). Not a masterpiece, but highly recommended nevertheless.
November 8, 2010
A pretty solid adaptation of the famous story.
½ June 24, 2010
i dont know why but i didint like it much..
June 12, 2010
and I now youve never seen dis.
June 11, 2010
The classic horror tale Phantom of the Opera has to be one of the most adapted stories in film history. There seems to be at least one Phantom film made each decade since movies began being made. The story became one of horrors most popular stories with Universal's silent adaption in 1925 starring Lon Chaney. Universal also made a successful color remake in 1943 staring Claude Raines. When the sixties rolled around one horror company ruled the cinemas. That's right, it's Hammer time and it was due time for them to give a the extremely popular horror pulp story a shot.

The plot of the film actually follows more of the Claude Raines version with hammer also talking liberal changes to the story, which is of course fine by this fan! We open with a popular play being rehearsed (overseen by corrupt play writer Michael Gough) only for the play to be plagued my a mysterious "accidents" and deaths. It seems that a masked lunatic is causing all the ruckus (played by Herbert Lom). Thanks to a flashback sequence we see that Herbert Lom spent years of his life writing an opera and when trying to sell his story to a publisher (Gough), the publisher in turns prints the story taking all the credit for himself. Lom finds this out and breaks into the printing mill in order to destroy all the copies but accidentally sets himself on fire in the process. He then becomes known as "The Phantom", masking his burned face and living in the sewers below the opera, Lom takes his revenge on Gough by sabotaging his play. His revenge is going as planned until he falls for a young opera song who he is bound determined to train to give his play all its worth.

Hammer did a decent job with adaption especially by hiring seasoned Hammer director Terence Fischer to helm the project. He makes this adaption less pondering than other ones and also spices up the film with some atmospheric shots. Michael Gough and Herbert Lom are also good replacements for Hammer regulars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and their strong acting brings this familiar story up a couple of notches. The one aspect I couldn't help but be disappointed in the character of the Phantom. The character of the Phantom is more of pity and sympathy rather than horror. His character just really lacked the driving revenge I craved. Sure have the character sympathetic but give him a psychotic, dangerous edge! If some asshole stole my play and I became disfigured in the process, I would lose my mind and set out to take that fucker down! A simple mask isn't enough to make his character "horror". This horror lacking villain made me come out of this film a little disappointed despite the film having top notch production values and cast.

Overall a decent Hammer film but hardly top tear horror material from the company. As a sympathetic atmospheric drama it's good but it really lakes that good horror aspect that great Hammer films supply. If the Phantom character was a little more fleshed out and had more of a psychotic edge to him this film would have been one of Hammer's best!
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2010
Horrible fruitcake adaptations of the story aside, the tale of The Phantom of the Opera has never done a hell of a lot for me but if there was a version that was going to get me to change my mind the Hammer version would've been the one to do it. As always, Terence Fisher's direction is superb and the actual phantom looks pretty cool. The ending's kind of abrupt, ending just for the sake of ending and you never find out of Petry gets his revenge on D'Arcy. As with most Hammer movies, The Phantom of the Opera is all in the direction, set design and atmosphere, but not much beyond that...
March 21, 2010
Hammer version of the much filmed tale, curiously lacking in horror, though Michael Gough (famous as Alfred in the Batman movies) is thoroughly reprehensible as the evil Lord D'Arcy.
½ January 23, 2010
En 1962, poursuivant sa relecture des films de la Universal, la Hammer s'est lancé à son tour dans une adaptation du célèbre fantôme de l'Opéra de Paris. Le grand héros de ce film est Terence Fisher, encore une fois, qui, au fure et à mesure qu'avance sa carrière à la Hammer (en 1962 elle approchait de la fin!) apportait beaucoup d'humanité et un certain sens de la psychologie des personnages à un genre qui n'est pas réputé pour briller pour ce type de qualité.
Aussi, son adaptation du roman de Leroux n'est pas autant un film d'horreur comme le fut la célèbre adaptation de Lon Chaney en 1925 (qui en demeure, selon moi, la meilleure!), qu'un mélodrame humain. Le véritable monstre, dans l'adaptation de Fisher n'est pas le fantôme, c'est Ambrose D'arcy (joué avec beaucoup de panache par Micheal "Alfred" Gough), exemple parfait de tout ce qu'il y a de plus vile en l'être humain. Il y en a toujours un comme cela dans les films de Fisher.
Comme toujours dans les films de la Hammer, un des points forts demeure les superbes décors mi-gothique, mi-rococo, qui rappelle au spectateur que le film se déroule dans un univers qui n'appartient qu'à lui.
Avec Phantom, Fisher poursuit ce qu'il avait commencé avec Curse of the Werewolf: utiliser le médium de l'horreur pour explorer l'âme humaine... � la fois superbe et divertissant.
January 8, 2010
Okay, so it's set in London instead of Paris, gives a completely different backstory to the title character, and in all honesty features more Opera than Phantom. Even so, I love this movie - Michael Gough is wonderfully sleazy, and Herbert Lom manages to do more with one eye visible behind a full mask than some actors manage with their entire face visible. An underrated gem from Hammer Studios.
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