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The Phantom of the Opera (1924) (Silent Film Classic)

4.3 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the greatest horror thrillers of all time this classic silent film features the original restored color sequence.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland
  • Directors: Lon Chaney, Edward Sedgwick, Ernst Laemmle, Rupert Julian
  • Writers: Bernard McConville, Elliott J. Clawson, Frank M. McCormack, Gaston Leroux
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 22, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RF2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,563 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Phantom of the Opera (1924) (Silent Film Classic)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Length: 1:34 Mins
*** UPDATED DEC-09-2012: ADDED REVIEW OF 2011 IMAGE/BLACKHAWK BLU-RAY EDITION ***

*** UPDATED DEC-09-2012: ADDED REVIEW OF 1997 IMAGE/BLACKHAWK DVD EDITION ***

*** ORIGINAL REVIEW POSTED SEPT-30-2003: 2003 IMAGE/MILESTONE 2-DISC DVD EDITION ***

I'm lumping my reviews together, just like what Amazon is doing! The above 3 video editions of the Lon Chaney silent classic will be covered in this review. Also, see my video clip at the top of this review to see disc covers, film clip comparisons, etc. (For those who can't see my video clip, especially iOS users who can't see flash video, I posted an external link to the video in the comment section, but you need to go to Amazon's FULL site to see the comment section.)

The 2011 Blu-ray edition of the 1925 Lon Chaney horror classic "The Phantom of the Opera" is produced by Blackhawk Films (owned by restorer David Shepard) and distributed by Image Entertainment. It has no corresponding DVD release. Blackhawk and Image also released the 1997 DVD edition, and this Blu-ray carries over some of its material.

The initial release of the Blu-ray on Nov 1, 2011 had several manufacturing defects, but a corrected edition was released soon after, and a disc replacement program was set up. Unfortunately, the replacement program was cancelled in December 2013. So if you buy used copies from third-party sellers, be sure to ask which version is being sold.

The disc packaging does not indicate which edition is the corrected one. The only way to identify it is to look at the menu screen. The corrected disc has a menu that shows more information about the disc's content, while the uncorrected one only shows the score composers' names. See my video clip above for what they look like.
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52 Comments 326 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
For starters, I agree with all the positive things said about this 2-disc set.
Unfortunately, there a couple of things about the discs that just spoiled the whole experience for me and may do so with you.
First, there is a "motion blur" or "ghosting" artifact that runs throughout the 1929/30 restoration. It looks similar to what a transfer from PAL video format to NTSC video format looks like only more exaggerated (images appear to be overlapped or double--sometimes triple--exposed). During the unmasking, Chaney's face is unnecessarily blurred, even when using freeze frame and stepping through the scene frame by frame.
Milestone has acknowledged the "ghosting", attributing it to adjusting the frame rate of the film during transfer from video master to video master. Incidentally, the original video master was in PAL format and was converted to NTSC for US, but Milestone claims PAL to NTSC was not the cause. Since they performed the additional restoration/picture cleaning on the overly "ghosted" transfer, it became a trade-off as to whether to present the cleaned up version or the "unghosted" version. Why such extensive restoration was done to a video master with excessive motion blur is beyond me.
For some folks, this will be a minor thing. For others, it will be very distracting and cast a dark cloud over what looks like to be the cleanest `print' of this movie in existence. I will be keeping the other Image DVD edition with the David Shepherd restoration.
Secondly, for the special features, the pause, fast forward, and reverse functions have been disabled. This can be a bit of a nuisance. For example, there is a 21 minute "restored version" of the films' original premiere utilizing stills and expository text. This I was excited about.
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1 Comment 133 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
***Update. Feb.4, 2012. I just received a replacement Blu-ray sent from Image and although the menu is easier to access-- for example the version listed as 20 fps Gabriel Thibaudeau score and the 1929 24 fps version with the Gaylord Carter score, etc. the menu is the only upgrade. The momentary "freeze" moments which is in the first release on the 20 fps version are, sadly, still there. From what I can tell, only the menus were made better, which is both good and bad. It is nice the menu is easier to access for people who buy this new version but sad that the 20 fps movie still has several moments where for a split second the image freezes. Why they left that the same I have no idea. Okay, back to my original review in early November:

I just finished watching one of three versions available on "The Phantom of the Opera" Blu-ray starring Lon Chaney and since then I have checked out the other two versions. First I watched the 20 fps (frames per second) version because I love Gabriel Thibaudeau's score. I was blown away by how sharp the picture looked. I definitely picked up on details I had not noticed before. When the Phantom is in the water, for instance, you can see just how wet the coat is when he climbs back out and details on his face as well. There is also no motion blur as there was on the Milestone release. The one quibble I do have is that there are a few instances in which the movie freezes for a second and then continues running. One place this happens is when Christine jumps up from the couch in the Phantom's cellar. There is a momentary freeze and then also when she wakes up in the morning. It wasn't in Image's DVD release but this appears to be a different print. I have read another writer's review about this problem and he made note of it too.
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