The Phantom of the Opera

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Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

Lon Chaney's silent, 1925 hit The Phantom of the Opera has been a popular drama on and off the silver screen. In this version by Terence Fisher a venal dwarf (Ian Wilson) has been added to the proceedings, a catalyst in the tragic tale of unrequited love. The disfigured phantom (Herbert Lom) lurks in the bowels of the London Opera House (in this version) and he has fallen in love with Christine (Heather Sears), a soprano he helps to promote and protect. One day the phantom is chased through the underground sewers by the evil dwarf -- a moment of high drama. The tragic tale is imbued with suspense and tension as the story unfolds, suggesting that something supernatural is haunting the opera house.

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Herbert Lom
as The Phantom
Heather Sears
as Christine Charles
Edward de Souza
as Harry Hunter
Michael Gough
as Lord Ambrose d'Arcy
Miles Malleson
as Philosophical Cabby
Miriam Karlin
as Charwoman
John Harvey
as Vickers
Michael Ripper
as Longfaced Cabby
Patrick Troughton
as Rat Catcher
Geoffrey L'Oise
as Frenchman
Renee Houston
as Mrs. Tucker
Liam Redmond
as Police Insp. Ward (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Phantom of the Opera

All Critics (2)

  • the narrative is somewhat flaccid, but the class it brings to the music sequences goes a long way in compensation.

    Jun 15, 2007 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Phantom of the Opera

Part of an 8 film set of Hammer horror. Fisher directs, but this movie doesn't really contain many thrills. There are so many renditions of this story. This one does include an elaborate flashback about the Phantom's past as a composer, but ultimately doesn't focus very much on the title character or give him much agency in anything that happens. Lom, who I am only familiar with from the Pink Panther movies opposite Peter Sellers, is hindered by the full-coverage one-eyed mask, but is also not especially frightening when the bad makeup job under the mask is revealed. Lord Ambrose d'Arcy (Gough), a crooked and cruel theatrical producer, is the real villain. I now recognize this common theme amongst many Hammer pictures, that there is often someone else involved in the plot who is more monstrous than the monster named in the movie title. But in addition to the womanizing, lying, thief played by Gough there is a Dwarf character (Wilson) who acts as caretaker of the Phantom in the caverns and sewers under the opera house. This "deformed" person, who has many violent impulses, is responsible for terrorizing the patrons and staff of the opera. And a lot of screen time is devoted to developing the relationship of the young lovers Christine and Harry. He is the director of the latest opera production about Joan of Arc and she is the new ingenue. His treatment of women is highly contrasted with d'Arcy's, so that we know he is the hero. The Phantom turns into a tragic, sacrificial character, and the plot is full of distracting scenes that shift the focus away from the central melody that you would expect. I intend the word melody in the previous sentence to be metaphorical for the repeatedly adapted story, not a reference to the tunes of the Webber musical, which did not exist yet in the early 1960s.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


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.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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...

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


Solid, horror style retelling of the story.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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