The Phantom of the Opera, 1925.
Directed by Rupert Julian.
Starring Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, John St Polis, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland and Snitz Edwards.
After the success of their first foray into horror with 1923's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Universal Studios reteamed with star Lon Chaney to bring Gaston Leroux's classic novel The Phantom of the Opera to life for their follow-up release. Designing and applying his own make-up to spectacular effect, Chaney delivers an iconic performance as the Phantom, who falls for a young singer (Mary Philbin) and terrorises the Paris Opera House in an effort to make her a star.
The lavish production saw the construction of a scale replica of the Palais Garnier (a set which remains standing to this day on Stage 28 of the Universal lot, a.k.a. 'The Phantom Stage'), whilst enduring turbulent shoot that saw director Rupert Julian at odds with his cast and crew. After disappointing preview screenings producer Carl Laemmle ordered extensive reshoots only for Julian to walk out, with the picture then completed by an uncredited Edward Sedgwick.
Released through-out September and October 1925, the financial success of The Phantom of the Opera paved the way for future entries in the Universal Monsters series, including the 1943 remake with Claude Rains in the title role as the Phantom.
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
Click here to view all entries in our Movies... For Free! collection.