CLASSIC FILM JOURNAL

The original 1925 silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera is the most famous version of the Gaston Leroux story of the disfigured and deranged Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House. The film is most famous for Lon Chaney’s astounding performance and grisly makeup.

The film’s origins had begun in 1923 when the president of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle, had met author Gaston Leroux while on vacation in Paris. Leroux gave Laemmle a copy of his 1910 novel of Le Fantôme de l’Opéra when hearing that Laemmle was an admirer of the Paris Opera House.

Laemmle quickly bought the film rights with Lon Chaney to star as the monstrous Erik. Production began in mid-October of 1924 and the film was released on November 25, 1925.

The Story Begins

The film begins at the opening night of a production of Gounod’s Faust at the Paris Opera House. Comte…

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