The Phantom of the Opera is an iconic silent film. Directed by Rupert Julian [along with Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle and Edward Sedgwick who are uncredited] , Phantom gives us a breathtaking view of Paris with lavish sets, beautiful costumes and an unsettling performance by Lon Chaney whose make up in the film is still sheer perfection. When audiences first saw Phantom they were said to have screamed or fainted at the scene where Christine pulls the concealing mask away. It is still a frightening image to this day.
There are many scholarly reviews written about the film that are available online. I simply enjoy it as a fan of horror and appreciate its place is horror movie history. Because of its success, Phantom inspired Universal to finance the production of a long string of horror films including some of my all time favorites: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Invisible Man.
For modern audiences the pacing of the film is a bit slow. However, no one can deny the power of a well told story and the delight of watching Lon Chaney at the height of his creative power. This one should not be missed and can be viewed online at Archive.org, Google and YouTube. I copy I watched was from Archive.org. The film is a bit degraded in places but is still watchable. If anyone out there has an opinion about the best copy of this film, please let me know.
RATING: Very Good.
Download a copy of the film from Archive.org
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.