The One about Rupert Julian’s “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925)

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An actor that I respect a lot is Lon Chaney. He has made a number of creepy films in his oeuvre but “The Man of a Thousand Faces” was versatile and just remarkable in his films utilizing his secretive makeup techniques or even doing all he can to make a film believable (his 1920 film, he played a double-legged amputee in “The Penalty” in which he had to harness his legs and literally walk on buckets to make his scenes believable.).

But one of my favorite films from Chaney is the 1925 film “The Phantom of the Opera” directed by Rupert Julian and stars Chaney with Mary Philbin and Norman Kerry. But I recently had a chance to see a newly restored version that was premiered for the very first time and included additional scenes and Technicolor scenes not seen before on video.

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The cool thing is that there are more and more footage being found of “The Phantom of the Opera” considering Universal having a lot of their silent films burned as maintenance was costing them too much money. But it’s fascinating that nearly 90-years later, footage is being found and to watch this restored film on the big screen, hand-cranked was amazing.

Definitely check out the film ala the newly restored version on Blu-ray from Kino Classics. The Milestone Classics DVD I have (shown in the photo) is now out of print.

The 8.5 x 11 photo is one of the few that I own of Lon Chaney in my classic 8.5 x11 collection.


 

Dennis A. Amith