The Phantom of the Opera Blu-ray review


            Many consider this to be the beginning of American horror cinema, and Lon Chaney’s performance is one that would mark the beginning of onscreen monsters. The Phantom of the Opera is a film of such significance that it has been reissued several times. This Blu-ray release includes three different versions of the same film, and all of them in magnificent high definition presentation. Even though the newest and clearest version has also been color tinted, the disc must be praised for including the original 1925 version in standard definition.

            Lou Chaney’s legendary performance as Erik, the disfigured and demented musical genius living in the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera, is one of film history. Even having never seen this film, it is impossible not to recognize the iconic make-up and haunting performance from this landmark silent film. This memorable film can be watched with three separate scores, not to mention a variety in the editing and coloring of the film.

            Newly remastered from the best available 35mm film material, this Blu-ray disc includes two high definition transfers of the 1929 reissue of the film, as well as the original 1925 version, which is a much longer 6 millimeter standard definition presentation. For the 24 frames per second 1929 version, there are two scores available; a new musical score by the Alloy Orchestra and the Gaylord Carter Theater organ score. The second 1929 version, shown at 20 frames per second, has an orchestral score composed by Gabriel Thibaudeau. This version also has the option of a feature-length audio essay by Dr. Jon Mirsalis. The original 1925 version comes with a piano score by Frederick Hodges.

            The additional special features include an interview with Thibaudeau, a still gallery, the film script, the original trailer and a theatrical souvenir program reproduction.
           

           

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