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The Phantom of the Opera (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,412 customer reviews

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Product Description

Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)

Musical Drama based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's celebrated musical phenomenon. The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Gerard Butler) who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera, waging a reign of terror over its occupants. When he falls fatally in love with the lovely Christine (Emmy Rossum), the Phantom devotes himself to creating a new star for the Opera, exerting a strange sense of control over the young soprano as he nurtures her extraordinary talents.

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Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).

Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.

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Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties.

DVD Features
The special edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi

More on The Phantom of the Opera


The Phantom of the Opera (Special Extended Edition Soundtrack) (CD)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack) (CD)

The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast) (CD)

Evita (DVD)

Andrew Lloyd Weber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (DVD)

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Special Features

Additional Scenes: "No-one Would Listen" Approx. 4 Mins. Documentary: Behind the Mask - The Story of the Phantom of the Opera Featurette: The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts: Preproduction, The Director, Production Additional Scenes: "No-one Would Listen" Approx. 4 Mins. Documentary: Behind the Mask - The Story of the Phantom of the Opera Featurette: The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts: Preproduction, The Director, Production Additional Scenes: "No-one Would Listen" Approx. 4 Mins. Documentary: Behind the Mask - The Story of the Phantom of the Opera Featurette: The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts: Preproduction, The Director, Production Additional Scenes: "No-one Would Listen" Approx. 4 Mins. Documentary: Behind the Mask - The Story of the Phantom of the Opera Featurette: The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts: Preproduction, The Director, Production Additional Scenes: "No-one Would Listen" Approx. 4 Mins. Documentary: Behind the Mask - The Story of the Phantom of the Opera Featurette: The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts: Preproduction, The Director, Production

Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver
  • Directors: Joel Schumacher
  • Writers: Joel Schumacher, Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Producers: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Austin Shaw, Paul Hitchcock, Louise Goodsill, Ralph Kamp
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Collector's Edition
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,412 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKNL0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,280 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Phantom of the Opera (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As a qualifier, I am an avid musical theatre fan and classically trained singer. Back in the 80s, I couldn't be bothered with seeing Phantom, partly because I was too busy going to show after show of Les Miserables, but mostly because I couldn't picture Michael Crawford as anything other than Cornelius, the wussy shop boy in Hello Dolly. His voice is nicely trained but his upper register is just simply annoying. I'm sorry to all his fans, but in my musical mind tenor does not equal dark and mysterious and emotionally tortured. The anger expressed by phans over casting the originals is just silly! Who wants to watch a 61-year old lusting after an older teenager? That is not entertainment, that is just gross...anyway, after relentless hounding by my niece, I broke down and took her to NYC to see it. It was wonderfully entertaining and I was glad to have gone.

Ranting over, on with the good stuff. The movie is an absolutely over-the-top, spectacle in everything (AS IT SHOULD BE, FOLKS!) We're dealing with 19th century, gothic romance and a musical score that is closer to opera than not.

Honestly, what else could you expect?

The visual aspects of the movie are rich and sensual and draw the viewer into 19th century Paris. From the opening crack of the auction gavel to the end scenes of phantom disappearing into the emptiness of his life, I found myself ignoring the actors to "let the spectacle astound" me.

The performances were very good with moments of brilliance for some. I'll save the best for last, so...

MIRANDA RICHARDSON-MADAME GIRY-wonderfully mysterious, has great empathy for phantom, yet realizes he must be stopped. Any cast is improved by her presence.
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Many people will look at this film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical spectacular, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with mixed emotions. There are people who will be upset that Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford, who played the original Christine and Phantom respectively, were not allowed to recreate their signature roles. There will also be people who'll be disappointed that this version is not a literal translation of the stage musical. Finally, we have the critics of both Webber and director Joel Schumacher, who have both been accused of wretched excess in previous projects in their individual careers. Taken as a film version however, this PHANTOM stands the test of time, not only as a wonderful musical film, but as one of the more faithful versions of Gaston Laroux's romance/horror novel.

Starting with a black and white prologue, the film tells the story of budding opera star Christine Daae and the two men who fight for her heart: the noble Viscount who she knew in childhood, and the mysterious Phantom of the Paris Opera House who hides his ugliness behind a half-mask while sponsoring Christine's career. Like the stage production, this film is awash in glorious colors and sets that would put many epics to shame. It's well balanced by solid performances that help propel the romantic, if melodramatic, story along.

Gerard Butler makes for a wonderfully dark and obsessive Phantom, while allowing the character to retain the audience's sympathy. Miranda Richardson is solid as the dour Madame Giry, who knows the Phantom's secret. Minnie Driver easily gets the most laughs as the over-bearing diva, Carlotta. (It's interesting to note that Ms. Driver's singing is dubbed in the film proper, while she actually sings the new closing credits melody "Learn to be Lonely.
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Format: DVD
You know that a movie works when it follows you long after you've left the movie theater. I saw the Broadway tour of "Phantom of the Opera" a few years ago and it has been my favorite musical since. I love it more than Cats, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon...you name it. Its romanticism and beautiful songs just blew me away.

I was then somewhat hesitant to see the film version, fearing that it would not live up to my expectations. A little over two hours later and I found myself crying over the Phantom (Gerard Butler) and his love for the young Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum) as she decides between him or the nobleman Raoul (Patrick Wilson).

In short, I love this movie! It was everything I had hoped it to be and more. The story is faithful to the stage version but it also gives the audience a closer look into the lives of the three main characters. The art direction, sets and costumes are resplendent and breath-taking. And the songs are brought to life superbly by the talented cast of young newcomers (Rossum, Wilson) and film veterans (Miranda Richardson, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Callow).

I know many would argue that Michael Crawford was a superb Phantom...that is, except for me. I always felt that Crawford's voice was too high-pitched and not manly enough. To me, Gerard Butler is more effective Phantom. Apart from being incredibly handsome (under that make-up), tall and well built, he also has this rough and raspy voice that is very masculine and full of passion. He IS the Phantom! Emmy Rossum has a hauntingly beautiful voice and has an innocence and sweetness that fits perfectly for Christine. Her voice gives me goosebumps! Patrick Wilson's romantic voice contrasts well with that of the Phantom's.
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