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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone version is the best!
Over the years, I have just about bought every version of the silent PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. In my opinion, the Milestone version is THE BEST. The elements have been cleaned up and the image is crisp, clear with good contrast for 90% of the film. This two disc set has both the 1929 and hybrid 1925 original. Actually the film is cleaner and better looking in this version...
Published on May 1 2004 by J. Morgan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazon still shipping the defective product
May 2013 - I still received the Defective Blu-ray disc from 2 years ago instead of the fixed version. Amazon still has them in stock and is sending them to customers. There is an issue with the main menu and a slowdown on one of the dance scenes apparently. I was able to contact Image to get a replacement disc.
Published 10 months ago by Lafe Fredbjornson


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3.0 out of 5 stars Amazon still shipping the defective product, June 15 2013
By 
Lafe Fredbjornson (Calgary, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
May 2013 - I still received the Defective Blu-ray disc from 2 years ago instead of the fixed version. Amazon still has them in stock and is sending them to customers. There is an issue with the main menu and a slowdown on one of the dance scenes apparently. I was able to contact Image to get a replacement disc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone version is the best!, May 1 2004
By 
J. Morgan "filmusicbuff" (Tarzana, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera [1925] (DVD)
Over the years, I have just about bought every version of the silent PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. In my opinion, the Milestone version is THE BEST. The elements have been cleaned up and the image is crisp, clear with good contrast for 90% of the film. This two disc set has both the 1929 and hybrid 1925 original. Actually the film is cleaner and better looking in this version than a lot of the official Universal thirties classic that have come out.
It has an excellent commentary by Scott MacQueen and a real treat is hearing the music originally composed for the sound version accompanying the action from original sound elements.
The Technicolor sequences are the nicest I have seen and through proper use of the colorization process, other scenes originally in color, are presented and match the actual color stuff very well.
This version has been made from the initial Photoplay restoration which also includes Carl Davis' original stereo score for those that must have modern stereo for their films, however, I prefer the mood and music of the original '30 soundtrack. There are a plethora of extras, and I don't think it is false hype to say this is the ULTIMATE EDITION of this classic film.
That's my two cents.....
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1925 Better than 1929, June 18 2004
By A Customer
I am greatly disappointed with the 1929 version of the film. I thought it was going to be better than the silent one because it had sound, but I was wrong. The 1925 version is better than the restored one. Even though the restored version has sound, it takes the orginal and rearranges everything. They took the beginning of the 1925 and put it after Christine sings in the 1929 version. The person who plays Carlotta in the 1925 version is now Carlotta's mother and the Carlotta is different. The four stars is given to the silent 1925, the restored one is given 1 star.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic Soundtrack!, April 23 2004
This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera (DVD)
This film, already a classic in its own right, is definetely enhanced by the dreamy, hypnotic music of Switchblade Symphony. My only complaint is one small segment in the film where the song "Dissolve" is butchered quite blatantly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Image Entertainment's "Phantom" Is a Winner, April 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera [1925] (DVD)
I assume that just about anyone reading this review is familiar with Chaney's Phantom of the Opera, so I intend to concentrate on the particular aspects of this release rather than on performances and/or story, since such reviews are the ones I personally find most helpful when doing resesarch.
This print is the version of the film prepared for re-release in 1929 (the film was originally released in 1925). The ballet and opera sequences were reshot and the entire film was re-edited; I believe it's shorter than the original release. This print isn't perfect (this is, after all, a VERY old film), but it's in astonishingly good shape, has been gorgeously remastered by David Shepard, and is a pleasure to watch. It has been remastered to its correct running speed of 20 frames/second, so there's none of the hurky-jerky movement that's often found in public domain issues of silents. The film is tinted according to Universal's original specs, and the Bal Masque sequence appears in its original two-strip Technicolor aspect. The digital stereo score, written by Gabriel Thibaudoux, is entirely appropriate to the film, although one wonders what the original score was like.
An informative essay by Chaney scholar Michael F. Blake is included and there are a few nice extras consisting mainly of shots from the production of the film; the re-release trailer is also included, although it lacks music and doesn't appear to have been remastered.
I'm very pleased with this disk. I can't compare it to the two-disk set released by Milestone because I don't own it yet. I seem to recall reading reviews to the effect that one can't fast forward, pause, or reverse the Milestone set (this would drive me insane)--such isn't the case here. Chapters are easily accessible, and the film opens with the "Lantern Man," which I seem to recall reading isn't the case with the Milestone set. There's no evidence of the "ghosting" mentioned in reviews of the Milestone set; in fact, the print is exceptionally clear with only some of the "underground" scenes prior to the unmasking showing serious evidence of age. The film itself is captivating and it bears mentioning that Chaney's performance is poetry in motion--it's impossible not to watch him, even when he appears only in shadow. I can't imagine anyone's being dissatisfied with this disk--its only drawback is its cheesy snap case. Highest recommendation--my hunch is that it hasn't been superceded by the Milestone release.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lon Chaney: The Art Of Horror, Feb. 23 2004
By 
Rudy Avila "Saint Seiya" (Lennox, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
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This DVD has restored the original 1925 and 1929 versions of Lon Chaney's incredible performance in "Phantom Of The Opera". It's got better sound quality and picture, uses sequences from the Charles Gounod French opera "Faust", dialogue and musical soundtrack/score. It's a must have for fans of Lon Chaney and for those who admire the art of early horror in cinema. Lon Chaney was the first, real horror film star. He was known in his day as "The Man With A Thousand Faces". His films were tinged with horror, violence (whether external or internal), and heavy tragedy and melancholia. He morphed into different characters by putting on layers and layers of costume and make-up. He could be everything from the tragic murderer-clown in "Laugh Clown Laugh" (inspired by the Leoncavallo opera "I Pagliacci") the hunchback Quasimodo in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and in this case the frightening living spectre in Phantom Of The Opera.
The Phantom Of The Opera was first a French novel. By the time of the 1925 and 1929 Lon Chaney film, it was already popular and a familiar story to many. Later, it would enjoy even more success in other film versions and even as a Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The simple but tragic story involves a pianist/organ player who was scarred for life in a fire in a theatre and forced to live under the new Paris Opera theatre. He has fallen in love with the soprano Christine. But he is feared and hated by those who work in the theatre- the ballerinas, conductor, musicians and singers ( who incidentally are rehearsing for performances of Gounod's Faust, an opera about the man who sold his soul to the Devil and regarded as Gothic and scary in its day) The sheer scale of suspense and horror in the film is tame by today's standards but it was great back then. It really is a film of great art. It would be a perfect addition to you're film collection. If you love Lon Chaney, this film is the one to get. You can always build upon Lon Chaney films since his movies are numerous. Five stars well earned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Come On Get Up and Buy This DVD! Cause it's Covo Vida Loca!, Feb. 17 2004
By A Customer
If you wanna live your life you have to live it right don't wanna waste it! you know you gotta live it right it's not a watse of time get up in taste it Let's Get Loud! Let's Get Loud! The Phantom Of The Opera's gonna bring us down. Let's Get Loud.
Come and Watch this on DVD rather than on digital TV you gotta see this! Lon Chaney's gonna make you scream as soon as his new face takes up the screen! Let's Get Loud! Let's Get Loud!The Phantom Of The Opera's gonna bring us down. Let's Get Loud!Come on! Turn on this real quick Norman's gonna make you flip cause he's so sexy! You just can't resist his look cause it's not from a book that's why I love him!! Let's Get Loud! Let's Get Loud! The Phantom Of The Opera's gonna bring us down Let's Get Loud! Let's Get Loud! But this DVD and when you get it tell me what you gonna do! HEY!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Behold! She is singing to bring down the chandelier!, Jan. 7 2004
By 
Pamela Scarangello (Middletown, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
Ah, yes! How could I, as Amazon's horror hostess, avoid discussing this haunting silent film classic? Released way back in 1925, "The Phantom of the Opera" displays the extravagance of live theatre, a delightful feast for the eyes. Set in the Paris Opera, the film stands out in its grand opulence; its lavish sets include the wide staircase, endless statue carvings, a full orchestra pit, the building's five tiers, and a chorus of petite ballet girls leaping in starch-white linen. Let's not forget the immense crystal chandelier which falls upon the terrified audience, triggering a spread of screams and terror. The Masquerade Ball is stained in Technicolor and shows the coquettish merriment of 19th century aristocrats. Even actress Mary Philbin is granted a gorgeous introduction as the tale's beautiful chorus girl, Christine Daae; crowned with golden curls that cascade down to her waist, she rises above the stage on angel's wings during her aria in "Faust." Despite a few plot alterations (including its violent ending), most of the film is drawn from Gaston Leroux's 1911 novel. The cast itself is quite extraordinary to watch; Norman Kelly's role as Christine's lover, Raoul de Chagney, reflects that of a hero drawn forward by curiosity and concern. Arthur Edmund Carewe's Ledoux (a substitute for Leroux's Persian character) is mysterious enough to make viewers wonder who's side he takes, until it's finally revealed that he works for the Secret Police. Virginia Pearson performs her role as Carlotta's Mother with a prima donna gusto; fiercely determined to boost her daughter's career, she's a woman who will won't let an Opera Ghost get in her way. Speaking of the Opera Ghost, no actor can bring the grotesque and somber Erik to life like Lon Chaney, the Man of 1000 Faces. His love for Christine twists into a deadly obsession, and viewers will pity his cursed existence. Interestingly, before this movie premiered, Chaney insured a contractual obligation that forbid photographers from revealing his makeup. In the scene when Christine first exposes The Phantom's grotesque face (with its bulging eyes, gnarled teeth, and protruding cheekbones), old women fainted in the audience and were revived with smelling salts! Obviously, he took great care to match the description given by the doomed stagehand Joseph Buquet (Bernard Siegel): Erik's was said to look like a hollow skull with yellow parchment skin.
I don't want to bore you with any extraneous detail. I just want to say that this film is the BEST version you can see of "Phantom of the Opera." It's a chilling and melodramatic piece of cinematic art.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, lousy video quality, Jan. 7 2004
By 
Mark Pollock "educator" (Davis, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Well, the other reviews have said it - this is a FANTASTIC restoration, and the availability of the 1925 version makes it even better. You get TWO prints of the film for the price of one.
But, the ghosting effect on the restored version is simply awful. Folks, there is not a SINGLE clear frame in the whole film! Every frame is a composite of two films frames, and the whole thing makes the film look very clear but very blurred at the same time.
It's an incredible shame that this wasn't handled correctly. There is NO excuse for a film of this high quality to be spoiled by poor transfer to video. None.
But then, some people will watch this and not notice anything wrong. Your mileage may vary.
The other features on the two-disc set are absolutely worthwhile, and having the choice of soundtracks is fantastic.
So, caveat emptor on this one. There's much to recommend, but a big disappointment as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation!, Nov. 3 2003
By 
Kenneth L. Hayes "BC Ken" (Houston, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This collector's edition provided my first opportunity to see the original 1925 release version. Wow! I had no idea how badly Universal mutilated the film for the 1929 sound re-issue - the version we're all familiar with! Most of the annoying continuity problems and other flaws I had assumed were caused by all the post-production tinkering Phantom went through before its general release were apparently inflicted on the film at the time of the re-issue. The 1925 version follows the novel more closely, scenes flow together more naturally, the characters' motivations are far more believable - heck, even the unmasking scene works better! Despite the less-than pristine visual quality of the source material, the 1925 version in this collection is by far the superior film.
That said, it was still a treat (in a campy kind of way) hearing the original sound track with the 1929 version, and the extra features are plentiful and worthwhile. The Ultimate Edition belongs in every Chaney/Phantom fan's collection.
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The Phantom of the Opera [1925]
The Phantom of the Opera [1925] by Rupert Julian (DVD - 2002)
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