THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
A spruced-up, tinted version of the
‘silent’ 1929 reissue of the Lon Chaney version has been issued by
Eureka as a Special Collector’s Edition, sourced from a good 35mm
print, transferred at a projection rate of 20 frames per second.
The Bal Masque sequence is presented in
two-strip Technicolor, and the entire film is windowboxed so that no
pictured information is unnecessarily lost at the edges of the screen. A
decent orchestral score (recorded in 1990) is also offered, along with a
shaky reissue trailer (“If you look quick… you will catch a glimpse of
him in some of the scenes that follow!”) and a worthwhile 15m featurette
that documents the film’s troubled production and Universal’s abortive
attempts to mount a sequel.
It’s unlikely that there will ever be
a definitive DVD of the Chaney movie, gathering together all the various
permutations, so fans will have to resign themselves to buying more than
one version: this is as good a place as any to begin.