Phantom of the Opera, The


Universal (1925) Director: Rupert Julian
Silent Film
2(=picc).2(II=ca).2(I=Ebcl.II=bcl).2(II=cbsn) - 4231 - timp - perc(3) - harp - org - strings (min 86442)
Commissioned by Photoplay Productions for Channel Four
First Performance
1996, Edinburgh Film Festival

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Starring: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman l(erry Director: Rupert Julian Production Company: Universal USA, 1925 Duration: 93 minutes Film Print: restored print with original Technicolor sequences available from Photoplay Productions (Film Speed: 16-24 frames per second) Premiere with Davis's score: 1996, Edinburgh International Film Festival 48 Players: 2(=picc).2(II=ca).2(I=Ebcl.II=bcl).2(II=cbsn) - 4231 - timp - perc(3) - harp - org - strings (mm This, the earliest of the film versions of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel, is also the one which follows it most closely. Lon Chaney - "The Man of a Thousand Faces" - was so perfect for the role of the Phantom that when he read the story, director Rupert Julian declared (Lon Chaney - or it can't be done'. Universal finally secured Chaney, but the actor resented Julian's autocratic style and the two clashed on set. Filming took place over ten miserable weeks, plagued by what one writer called the 'Phantom Jinx'. Despite the difficulties, the film was a smash hit. Some scenes - especially the unmasking - terrified audiences. Photoplay's newly-restored print has the famous Technicolor sequences with all the original tints and colour effects. Davis's score draws heavily on Gounod's Faust - a Paris Opera production of which forms the backdrop to the story - but otherwise concerns itself with depicting the character of the Phantom: in the words of the composer, 'horror, pure horror'.

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