The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera ★★★½

Hooptober 6 11/31

Not only a fantastic adaptation of Leroux's story, but a terrific demonstration of silent-era craftsmanship. Aside from the literal technology used to capture the picture, this is as good or better than a lot of big budget films today. The makeup effects hold up so well it's almost unbelievable, and the set designs themselves are astounding. Then you have to costuming to consider; Chaney as the phantom striding into the masquerade with a resplendent red gown and skull mask is an iconic image that has reverberated for nearly 100 years.

I think a lot of modern film buffs watch these old silent movies and talk about how much they liked them, but always with the "I enjoy it for its influence and historical importance" qualifier. I'll admit I'm guilty of that for some of them, but this one I don't even need to filter through the historical appreciation lens to enjoy. It's just rock solid filmmaking. It helps that Leroux's story is strong enough to withstand some missteps, but this film doesn't really take any. One of the grandest silent films, with terrific atmosphere and performances.

Hooptober Checklist: 2/6 <1966, 4/6 contributor (Chaney)

Ethan C. liked this review