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Phantom of the Opera (Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection)

4.1 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This spectacular retelling of Gaston Leroux's immortal horror tale stars Claude Rains as the masked phantom of the Paris opera house - a crazed composer who schemes to make a beautiful young soprano (Susanna Foster) the star of the opera company and wreak revenge on those who stole his music. Nelson Eddy, the heroic baritone, tries to win the affections of Foster as he tracks down the disfigured "monster" who has begun murdering those who resist his mad demands. This lavish production remains a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time.

Special Features

  • The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked
  • Feature Commentary with Film Historian Scott MacQueen
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Nelson Eddy, Claude Rains, Susanna Foster, Edgar Barrier
    • Directors: Arthur Lubin
    • Writers: Eric Taylor, Samuel Hoffenstein
    • Producers: George Waggner
    • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Dubbed
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: French
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
    • Run Time: 93 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 078324097X
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Phantom of the Opera (Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on February 21, 2005
    Format: DVD
    This 1943 version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is simply stunning. As other viewers have noted, this version is more colourful musical than bloodcurdling horror (and more in tune with Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical than the Lon Chaney silent).

    Claude Rains plays the Phantom. In this version the Phantom is a violinist in the opera's orchestra, trying to get his own music published. Because of arthritis in one of his hands, he gets fired from the orchestra and left virtually destitute. A case of jumping to the wrong conclusion leads him to be severely scarred by acid, and he retreats to the cool and dark of the sewers for refuge.

    Susanna Foster plays Christine DuBois, a young singer in the opera chorus, who graduates to the lead roles when the resident diva is murdered by the Phantom. Nelson Eddy plays Anatole, the resident lead baritone who is in love with Christine.

    The Technicolor photography is lush and vibrant, superbly reproduced for this DVD. Susanna Foster (and her amazing voice which roams several octaves) is perfectly showcased in the well-executed opera scenes. Also starring Edgar Barrier, J. Edward Bromberg and Jane Farrar.

    Followed by THE CLIMAX (which featured Susanna Foster being menaced by Boris Karloff).
    Comment 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on March 25, 1999
    Format: VHS Tape
    I saw the 1943 version of "The Phantom of the Opera" before I read the book and (last) saw the 1925 version. I have to admit that it was not like the book at all, but the Lon Chaney version was a little. Claude Rains was very convincing as the tormented and lovesick Phantom, and was always more interesting than Lon Chaney. But Claude Rains was not given very much screen time, except near the beginning and end of the film. The sets were fabulous. Nelson Eddy and Edgar Barrier were almost constantly trying to win over Christine, and even though these scenes were funny, I've noticed that they can very easily become distractions that seem designed only to de-emphasize Claude Rains, which only hurts the film. Susanna Foster and Nelson Eddy sang a lot, and while these numbers were very nice and a joy to listen to, they were the only time Nelson Eddy really got a chance to shine, which is unfortunate. However, Susanna Foster fared well throughout the entire film. I would not recommend this film to anyone who doesn't like opera, or to anyone who wants to see a lot of the Phantom.
    Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Gaston Leroux's penny-dreadful novel was hardly the stuff of great literature, but it did manage to tap into the public consciousness with its gas-light-gothic tale of a beautiful singer menaced by a horrific yet seductive serial killer lurking in the forgotten basement labyrinths of the Paris Opera. Lon Chaney's silent classic kept the basic elements of the novel intact--and proved one of the great box office hits of its day, a fact that prompted Universal Studios to contemplate a remake throughout most of the 1930s. Although several proposals were considered (including one intended to feature Deanna Durbin, who despised the idea and derailed the project with a flat refusal), it wasn't until 1943 that a remake reached the screen. And when it did, it was an eye-popping Technicolor extravaganza, all talking, all singing, and dancing. The Phantom had gone musical.

    In many respects this version of PHANTOM anticipates the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical, for whereas the Chaney version presented the Phantom as a truly sinister entity, this adaptation presents the character as one more sinned against than sinning--an idea that would color almost every later adaptation, and Webber's most particularly so. But it also shifts the focus of the story away from the title character, who is here really more of a supporting character than anything else. The focus is on Paris Opera star Christine Dae, here played by Susanna Foster. In this version Christine is not only adored by the Phantom; she is also romantically pursued by two suitors who put aside their differences to protect her.
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    2 Comments 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    I had to buy this movie, because I am a Phantom completionist. I am a sap and sucker for saying that, but hey, I have a few Phantom Phan-friends who have more than I do. This is part of the Universal Monsters collection, hailed as something of true splendor, and also... who can go wrong with Claude Rains? Honestly, that man is a true god to Classic Hollywood.

    Anyway, to the review. I really like this movie, I do. But it could have been better, but the movie's plot, set-design, and actors save it from being a bad buy.

    Erik Claudin is a old violin genius. He knows good music like the back of his hand, and has a pretty decent life. You think... for he is using all the money that he could be using for rent to pay for Christine Daaé's tutilage. He is striken with the poor girl, take it granted he is old enough to be her father. (In a deleted scene, she was.) But he refuses to let himself be known to her.

    He has written a concerto, a musical masterpice. And when bringing it to the publishers, in hopes of getting money and having true success, he falsely blames them of stealing it and goes into a mad rapage. The man who makes copies at the printing building, gets killed by his hand and his assistant throws "photo acid" on him, burning his skin. Back then, photo acid would perhaps damage your skin, but nowadays it's more non-toxic, but could really damage your eyes. He becomes scarred and falls down a sewer, leaving behind his old "wanted" life...

    Meanwhile, Christine Daaé is being seduced by two people. Her on-stage star Antole, and her "captain" of the police, Raoul. I guess you can say--from the book and the musical--the part of Raoul is divided up between both of the characters evenly. Both wish for her hand...
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