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on April 23, 2014
This is a 2 disc collection. The films are colour tinted and total run time of the discs is 4 hrs 28 mins. An incredible set.

Disc 1 - 1929 restored version, 2 soundtracks including the original 1930 soundtrack edited to fit this version, commentary by Scott MacQueen, 1925 & 1930 theatrical trailers, stills gallery featuring deleted & missing scenes, bonus audio only feature: selections of dialogue sequences from the 1930 version not found in the restored version

Disc 2 - 1925 original feature version, musical score by Jon Mirsalis, Carla Laemmle Remembers - a video interview with David Skal, Faust opera extract from the 1929 Tiffany sound feature Midstream, bonus audio only feature: interview with cinematographer Charles Van Enger
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on January 16, 2016
great vdv
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on January 29, 2016
Great film, interested to see that Chaney's Phantom was linked to Adolf Hitler throughout the film. Clearly, the filmmakers correctly realized already by 1924 that Hitler was a horrific menace...Yipe!:>)
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on September 10, 2015
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on March 2, 2017
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on May 24, 2015
This blu-ray has three versions of the Phantom of the Opera. It has the original 1925 (114min) version which was copied from a 16mm source, and then two versions of the 1929 reissue with one presented at 24 frames per second(78min) and the other at 20 frames per second(92min). Both of the 1929 films are the same film but run for different lengths because of the variation in the film speeds, however the 24 frames per second film has also been remastered even better than the 20 frames per second film and looks simply amazing, though don't expect all of the scratches and oxidizing markings to be completely removed. This film is lucky to be around at all given the volatile stock which was used for this film and others from this era. The original 1925 film is the roughest looking by far, but also shows the original film in its entirety. The 1929 films were reedited, with other parts refilmed, like a portion of the ballet sequence. The 20 frame per second version also comes with an excellent commentary by Dr. Jon Mirsalis, and an orchestral score by Gabriel Thibaudeau. The 24 frames per second film version comes with Gaylord Carter's organ score or a brand new score by the Alloy Orchestra which is very good, and moody/creepy. The 1929 versions are colour tinted, with the famous "Bal Masque" sequence in Technicolor, and other segments hand colored, which is quite striking and an unexpected surprise. This is an excellent blu-ray which has been wonderfully remastered.
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on February 23, 2004
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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on January 7, 2004
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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on September 30, 2003
Although marred by static direction and stilted acting, the 1925 silent film THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is known primarily for the memorable contribution by Lon Chaney as an actor and makeup artist. His moving portrayal of the disfigured escaped convict who haunts Paris Opera House is perhaps the sole reason to watch this film. And his talent as a makeup artist helped create one of the most indelible images in film history: the skull-like head of the phantom that conveys sadness, anger, and horror at the same time. This Region-1-only 2-disc DVD set from The Milestone Company includes two versions of this classic film: the 1925 version that was premiered in New York, and the 1929 re-edited silent version that is most often seen today. The DVD also contains excellent supplements that give us a good overview of the film's rather remarkable history.
The rarely seen 1925 New York premiere version included on this DVD is untinted, runs 107 minutes, and was transferred from the only surviving 16mm reduction print. Its video quality is understandably poor; sharpness and clarity are never satisfactory, and blemishes abound. There are some notable differences between this version and the shorter, 93-min, 1929 re-edited version. In the 1925 version, actors are introduced via their own title cards. There is no "Carlotta's mother" character. Carlotta is played by Virginia Pearson in both the opera and the dramatic scenes. The chandelier sequence is edited more competently and thus played out a little more effectively. There are more scenes in Christine's dressing room, so adequate suspense is built up before she meets the phantom. There is also one crucial scene in a garden that explains why Christine is so enamored to the mysterious voice she hears. In my opinion, the 1925 version is the superior version; it seems more complete and satisfying narratively than the edited 1929 version.
The 1929 edited silent version included on this DVD was transferred from a restored, re-tinted print made by the renowned film restoration company Photoplay Productions. This is the best-looking version of PHANTOM to date. It also looks much sharper and cleaner than the 1997 Image DVD. Both DVDs offer the speed-corrected 1929 version, but the '97 Image DVD opens with a shot of a man holding a lantern walking past the camera, while the Milestone DVD, curiously, omits this so-called "lantern man" shot and opens at the opera house. On both DVDs, the "Bal Masque" scene is shown in two-strip Technicolor, with the color on the Milestone disc looking a little more realistic. Also, in order to duplicate the original film as much as possible, some of the color scenes on the Milestone disc were actually digitally colored (such as the phantom's red cape at the roof of the opera house), because there is no existing color footage for them. On the '97 Image DVD, no digital coloring was used.
There was a "talkie" version of PHANTOM made in 1929, but unfortunately the print of that version was lost. The dialogs and sound effects recorded for that version, however, survived. To give the viewer a taste of the sound version, the Milestone DVD offers something interesting to accompany the 1929 silent version: a soundtrack composed of fragments of existing recordings of the sound version pieced together to fit the silent version as much as possible. The result is still far from being a "talkie" track. It has plenty of sound effects and spoken dialogs, but it has almost no synchronized talking. Inter-titles are still present (because this is still the silent version). There is, however, one opera sequence where the singing of actress Mary Fabian (who did her own singing) is perfectly synchronized with the picture, which is a wonder to watch. The DVD also includes audio-only supplements of recorded dialogs, which give us further glimpses of the talkie version -- and of its rather incompetent voice acting.
Also accompanying the 1929 version is a superb audio commentary by PHANTOM expert Scott MacQueen. He provides a wealth of information about the production history, the backgrounds of the cast and crew, the various versions of the film, the use of color, and the use of sound. He deplores the incompetence of director Rupert Julian, and emphasizes that the true auteurs of the film were Chaney and set designer Ben Carré. He points out that contemporary reviews indicate that the 1925 version contains Technicolor sequences in not only the Bal Masque scene, but also the opera sequences and the auditorium scenes (the extensive use of color must have been quite a spectacle for a silent film back then). He recounts in great details (while speaking at a pretty fast pace) how the various versions of PHANTOM survived over the years -- the existing 1925 version originated from the so-called "Show-at-home" 16mm versions which Universal made for private collectors in the 1930s, while the surviving 1929 version was obtained by a Jim Card at Universal in the 1950s, and the Technicolor sequences was obtained from a 1930 dye transfer copy by restorationist David Shepherd.
To add even more value to an already superb package, the Milestone DVD also includes still-frame reconstructions of the Los Angeles and San Francisco premiere versions of PHANTOM. These were the very first public showings of the film. The Los Angeles version ended not with a chase scene as in later versions, but with the phantom dying alone at his piano.
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on June 5, 2002
Lon Chaney's 1925 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has always been more of a popular than a critical favorite, and this may account for the fact that it has never really been restored and preserved as well as one might hope. Over the years dozens of companies have released versions of the film on VHS and DVD to the home market, and some have been quite bizarre. I have encountered more than one video tape release without any score at all; a visually impressive 1993 video release by Video Treasures had an incredibly unsuitable pseudo-rock score by Rick Wakeman of the band Yes; the usually expert Kino actually includes a number of superfluious scenes added in 1929 for a semi-sound re-release. So any purchase of this film is a very hit or miss affair, and I recommend that you borrow, rent, and seek the advice of friends before you actually purchase any particular copy.
That said, the silent version of THE PHANTOM is very much in the "grand manner"--which is precisely why audiences love it and critics tend to dismiss it. Everything about the film is larger than life just a bit campy. The sets are enormous and frequently bizarre, the costumes are outrageous, and the entire cast plays in a very grand manner: Chaney is very, very broad here, and his make-up is justly famous; Mary Philbin totters improbably with horror in virtually every scene; Arthur Edmund Carewe has some of the weirdest eye make-up you'll ever see on screen. Chandeliers crash, ballerinas twirl in terror, mirrors open, lakes drain, audiences panic, horses run away with carriages, peasants riot in the street, and there's even (in a good print) a very early color photography sequence.
It is all a TREMENDOUS amount of fun, and while I wouldn't class it with the truly great Chaney films (such as X--THE UNKNOWN, to name but one) it is still the best film version of the famous story to date. Of all the films made of the Leroux novel, this one is easily the best--and, interestingly, is really closer to the novel's spirit than later adaptations, which tend to romanticize the Phantom. A must have for any fan of silent film, and well worth the hunt for a really good print.
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