The Phantom of the Opera (DVD, 1998)
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Most relevant reviews
- attictreasuresm...Dec 11, 2015by
3D and mediocre dubbing add little to this classic film.
The Phantom of the Opera, written by Gaston Leroux, is the story of the deformed Erik, who befriends and falls in love with Christine, an understudy at the Paris Opera. The novel has been made into film several times. The Universal film of 1925 starring Lon Chaney is undoubtedly the best. While usually considered a horror film, it is also a tragic romance. Erik, because of his deformity has never been loved, and therefore does not know how to love. The unmasking scene and Chaney’s incredible makeup are one of the greatest moments in American cinema. In 1943 Universal remade the film, starring Claude Rains as the Phantom. This movie was largely a vehicle for Nelson Eddy, and the plot changes, as Erique (the Phantom) is a violinist at the Opera who is convinced music publishers are stealing his masterpiece and is burned by acid during an encounter with the publisher. The sets are impressive (many are recreations of the sets used in the 1925 movie), and the Technicolor is beautiful. But the movie is disappointing. The 1962 Hammer production stars Herbert Lom as the Phantom, the first to wear an ugly mask, and is similar in plot to the 1943 film. The 1989 version starring Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) is a slasher version of the story. It has a few moments that are fun (in the slasher genre definition of fun), and Jill Shoelen is probably the most beautiful Christine in all the films. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical was made into a film in 2004, and focuses on the tragic romance between The Phantom and Christine. The play and the movie popularized the Phantom for a new audience, and is definitely worth watching. The Argento version is horrible beyond belief. Avoid it at all costs!
This Angel of Music version combines the 1925 Chaney edition with additional footage from the 1929 re-release. The 2 disc set contains 2D and Anaglyph 3D versions. The 3D version is dubbed, with music and sound effects. The 3D effects are minimal, objects in the foreground do stand out, but really the 3D adds little to the film. The voice dubbing is really mediocre, the voice actors are amateurish, and the dialogue lacks depth. It would be nice to view a professionally dubbed version, but this is not that version.
To be fair, the print of the film is very good – it has been restored, and the opera scenes do have the proper songs. But I can’t recommend this DVD set.Read full review
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