The Phantom of the Opera

USA|1925|Tinted, Handschigel coloured and Technicolor Process 2 sequences|89 min|DCP|Silent with scores|Eng intertitles
Restored and reconstructed by Photoplay Productions, in association with George Eastman House, UCLA Film and Theatre Archive, The Stanford Theatre Foundation and David Shepard, from the black-and-white print of the 1929 version and the sole surviving 16mm coloured print of the 1925 version.
02.02.2020 (Sun) 14:00 BC

Dir: Rupert Julian
Cinematographer: Charles Van Enger, Virgil Miller
Cast: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry

The ever-magnificent Palais Garnier is haunted by the mysterious Opera Ghost whose nightly appearance from his lair cast a shadow over the glorious theatres. Obsessed with his student, the young soprano Christine, the Opera Ghost kills and kidnaps just to win her heart. In love with her childhood friend who has become the Vicomte, Christine obeys her tutor only because she aspires to become the lead singer. They are destined for tragedy as the Phantom’s grotesque face betrays his twisted heart. The first film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name, this classic silent gothic horror film offered one chilling scene after another by tinting and lighting techniques; the masquerade scene was coloured with the then latest two-colour Technicolor, where the red and green captured are still vibrant today; the rooftop scene used the Handschiegl process to create the deep blue shadow of the Phantom that loomed in the night sky. The restored version strives to stay true to the original colours and a new soundtrack is created by Carl Davis, the American master composer of silent film scores.

The presentation of The Phantom of the Opera by arrangement with Photoplay Productions and Patrick J Stanbury.

Rupert Julian (1879-1943)
Made his name for writing, directing and starring in the propaganda film The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918), his directing career later peaked with The Phantom of the Opera, the first film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 famous horror novel.