Horror On The Lens: The Phantom of the Opera (dir by Rupert Julian)


Today’s horror movie on the Shattered Lens is both a classic of silent era and one of the most influential horror films ever made.  It’s one that I previously shared in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2108, 2019, and 2020 but it’s such a classic that I feel that it is worth sharing a second (or fifth or even a sixth or perhaps a seventh) time.

First released in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera is today best known for both Lon Chaney’s theatrical but empathetic performance as the Phantom and the iconic scene where Mary Philbin unmasks him. However, the film is also a perfect example of early screen spectacle. The Phantom of the Opera was released during that period of time, between Birth of the Nation and the introduction of sound, when audiences expected films to provide a visual feast and Phantom of the Opera certainly accomplishes that. Indeed, after watching this film and reading Gaston Leroux’s original novel, it’s obvious that the musical was inspired more by the opulence of this film than by the book.

This film is also historically significant in that it was one of the first films to be massively reworked as the result of a poor test screening. The film’s ending was originally faithful to the end of the novel. However, audiences demanded something a little more dramatic and that’s what they got.

 

4 Shots From 4 Silent Horror Films


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

The horror genre has been around ever since people struggled to explain their fears and horror films were a feature of cinema from the time of the earliest movies.  Today, we pay tribute to some of the early entries in the horror genre with….

4 Shots From 4 Horror Films

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir by Robert Wiene, DP: Willy Hameister)

Nosferatu (1922, dir by F.W. Murnau, DP: Fritz Arno Wagner and Günther Krampf)

Haxan (1922, dir by Benjamin Christesen, DP: Johan Ankerstjerne)

The Phantom of the Oepra (1925, dir by Rupert Julian, DP: Milton Bridenbecker, Virgil Miller, Charles Van Enger)

4 Shots From 4 Dario Argento Films: Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, The Phantom of the Opera


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

This October, we’ve been using 4 Shots from 4 Films to pay tribute to some of our favorite horror filmmakers!  Today, we honor the one and only Dario Argento!

4 Shots From 4 Dario Argento Films

Deep Red (1975, dir by Dario Argento)

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento)

The Phantom of the Opera (1998, dir by Dario Argento)

Horror On The Lens: The Phantom of the Opera (dir by Rupert Julian)


Today’s horror movie on the Shattered Lens is both a classic of silent era and one of the most influential horror films ever made.  It’s one that I previously shared in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2108, and 2019 but it’s such a classic that I feel that it is worth sharing a second (or fifth or even a sixth) time.

First released in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera is today best known for both Lon Chaney’s theatrical but empathetic performance as the Phantom and the iconic scene where Mary Philbin unmasks him. However, the film is also a perfect example of early screen spectacle. The Phantom of the Opera was released during that period of time, between Birth of the Nation and the introduction of sound, when audiences expected films to provide a visual feast and Phantom of the Opera certainly accomplishes that. Indeed, after watching this film and reading Gaston Leroux’s original novel, it’s obvious that the musical was inspired more by the opulence of this film than by the book.

This film is also historically significant in that it was one of the first films to be massively reworked as the result of a poor test screening. The film’s ending was originally faithful to the end of the novel. However, audiences demanded something a little more dramatic and that’s what they got.

Scenes That I Love: Lon Chaney Gets Unmasked in Phantom of the Opera


I know I’ve probably shared this scene in the past but I’m going to share it again because today is Lon Chaney’s birthday!  137 years ago, today, one of the greatest actors of all time was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He was the man of a thousand faces and he brought a lot of life to silent cinema.

This scene is from the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera!  That’s Lon as the phantom and Mary Philbin as Christine.  In honor of the anniversary of Lon Chaney’s birth, we invited you to enjoy a scene that I love…..

This scene, incidentally, was originally planned to be shot in color.  Unfortunately, the lights that were (back then) necessary to film in color were too hot and they caused Chaney’s makeup to melt.   So, those plans were scrapped and then scene was shot in black-and-white but, personally, I find the black-and-white to be more effective.  I’ve seen a colorized version of this film and it just wasn’t as effective.

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: Blade, The Faculty, The Phantom of the Opera, Vampires


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1998 Horror Films

Blade (1998, dir by Stephen Norrington)

The Faculty (1998, dir by Robert Rodriguez)

The Phantom of the Opera (1998, dir by Dario Argento)

Vampires (1998, dir by John Carpenter)

Horror On The Lens: The Phantom of the Opera (dir by Rupert Julian)


Today’s horror movie on the Shattered Lens is both a classic of silent era and one of the most influential horror films ever made.  It’s one that I previously shared in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2108 but it’s such a classic that I feel that it is worth sharing a second (or fifth) time.

First released in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera is today best known for both Lon Chaney’s theatrical but empathetic performance as the Phantom and the iconic scene where Mary Philbin unmasks him. However, the film is also a perfect example of early screen spectacle. The Phantom of the Opera was released during that period of time, between Birth of the Nation and the introduction of sound, when audiences expected films to provide a visual feast and Phantom of the Opera certainly accomplishes that. Indeed, after watching this film and reading Gaston Leroux’s original novel, it’s obvious that the musical was inspired more by the opulence of this film than by the book.

This film is also historically significant in that it was one of the first films to be massively reworked as the result of a poor test screening. The film’s ending was originally faithful to the end of the novel. However, audiences demanded something a little more dramatic and that’s what they got.

Horror on the Lens: The Phantom of the Opera (dir by Rupert Julian)


Today’s horror movie on the Shattered Lens is both a classic of silent era and one of the most influential horror films ever made.  It’s one that I previously shared in 2013, 2015, and 2106 but it’s such a classic that I feel that it is worth sharing a second (or fourth) time.

First released in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera is today best known for both Lon Chaney’s theatrical but empathetic performance as the Phantom and the iconic scene where Mary Philbin unmasks him. However, the film is also a perfect example of early screen spectacle. The Phantom of the Opera was released during that period of time, between Birth of the Nation and the introduction of sound, when audiences expected films to provide a visual feast and Phantom of the Opera certainly accomplishes that. Indeed, after watching this film and reading Gaston Leroux’s original novel, it’s obvious that the musical was inspired more by the opulence of this film than by the book.

This film is also historically significant in that it was one of the first films to be massively reworked as the result of a poor test screening. The film’s ending was originally faithful to the end of the novel. However, audiences demanded something a little more dramatic and that’s what they got.

Halloween Havoc!: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Universal 1943)


cracked rear viewer

Universal’s 1943 remake of the 1925 Lon Chaney Sr. classic THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is definitely an ‘A’ movie in every way. A lavish Technicolor production with an ‘A’ list cast (Claude Rains, Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster) and opulent sets (including the Opera House interiors built for the ’25 silent), it’s the only Universal Horror to win an Oscar – actually two, for Art Direction and Cinematography. Yet I didn’t really like it the first time I saw it. It’s only through repeated viewings I’ve softened my stance and learned to appreciate the film.

Claude Rains’s performance in particular has made me a convert. As Erique Claudin, he’s a sympathetic figure, and one can’t help but feel sorry for him. When he’s let go from the orchestra by the maestro, after twenty long years as a violinist, his arthritis causing his playing to become subpar, I felt pity for…

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Horror Scenes That I Love: Mary Philbin unmasks Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera!


Today’s horror scene that I love comes from the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera.

In this famous scene, which was directed by Rupert Julian, Mary Philbin unmasks the Phantom (played, of course, by Lon Chaney).  Both of their reactions are justifiably famous.

I have read that Philbin was apparently not told what Chaney would look like when she removed the mask, which contributed to her state of shock.  I don’t know if that’s true but I hope it is.  It’s certainly a good story.

Was this horror cinema’s first “jump scare?”