“The Phantom of the Opera” is a silent horror film from 1925, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The movie was directed by Rupert Julian and starred Lon Chaney as the Phantom.
The film is set in the Paris Opera House, which is said to be haunted by a mysterious figure known as the Phantom. The Phantom, who lives in the catacombs beneath the opera house, becomes obsessed with Christine Daaé (played by Mary Philbin), a young soprano who is just beginning to make a name for herself in the opera world.
The Phantom begins to coach Christine in secret, using his influence to ensure that she gets the lead roles in the productions. He also begins to send her letters and gifts, leading her to believe that they are from an angel sent by her deceased father.
However, when Christine falls in love with Raoul (played by Norman Kerry), a handsome young nobleman, the Phantom becomes jealous and decides to take revenge. He kidnaps Christine and takes her to his lair in the catacombs, where he reveals his face to her for the first time, terrifying her with his grotesque appearance.
Meanwhile, Raoul, with the help of a group of police officers, sets out to rescue Christine and capture the Phantom. In a dramatic finale, the Phantom is pursued through the opera house, leading to a confrontation with Raoul and the police on the roof. The Phantom ultimately meets a tragic end, falling to his death from the roof of the opera house.
“The Phantom of the Opera” is considered a classic of the horror genre and is particularly notable for Lon Chaney’s incredible performance as the Phantom, which required him to wear a painful and elaborate makeup and prosthetic devices.
Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle
Gaston Leroux, Walter Anthony, Elliott J. Clawson
Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry