This movie was the last adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera that I hadn't seen (there are two others). I also read the book. It is not that I was particularly obsessed with the story, but over the course of the years these opportunities presented themselves. This was also probably my least favorite version.
For those of you who don't know the story (I don't know why you wouldn't; where on Earth have you been?) I will do a brief synopsis. A man who has a horribly disfigured face and is therefore shunned by society lives under an opera house. He falls in love with one of singers and terrorizes the opera whenever they do not let her perform. Eventually, he kidnaps her and takes her down to his cave-like dwelling. As you know, I never do spoilers and will not ruin the ending.
Let's get the bad stuff over with. The acting is really awful. Also, in this kind of setting, you would expect the costumes to be better. The plot moves along slowly. I felt like we were really moving forward in cinema and now we have taken twenty steps backward. There are so many title cards and the directing is really horrible. There is a brief scene in Technicolor but that really is not enough of a reason to watch it. I think the only reason this was on the list is because everyone has heard of it.
I do, however, think it is a really romantic story. I am not talking about the love between the Phantom and Christine, the opera singer, either. Simply the idea of someone dressed up like a Phantom in an opera house and causing drama is just so...French.
If you are looking for another (good) version to watch, I would recommend the most recent one with Gerard Butler. It starts with a flashback, and I am a sucker for those (Titanic, Moulin Rouge, etc.). It also has a wonderful soundtrack.
Gregory Peck watched this when he was nine and was so scared that he had to sleep in his grandmother's bed. Gregory Peck could have slept in my bed whenever he wanted.
Oldest standing interior set in the world.
Available on Netflix Instant or YouTube: