The Phantom of the Opera (1925 movie)

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Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera

The 1925 film version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney, Sr., and directed by Rupert Julian, is one of the more influential adaptations of Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera, in which a disfigured phantom haunts the Paris Opera House, trying to force the people who run it to make the woman he loves a star. It contained several scenes in two strip color, and is especially famous for Lon Chaney's intentionally horrific, self-applied makeup which was kept a studio secret until the film's premier.

In addition to Chaney, the film also stars Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland, John St. Polis and Snitz Edwards.

The movie was adapted by Elliott J. Clawson, Frank M. McCormack (uncredited), Tom Reed (titles) and Raymond L. Schrock. It was directed by Edward Sedgwick (uncredited), Lon Chaney (uncredited), and Rupert Julian.

The restored print is a 1929 re-release version that was re-edited, eliminating some scenes and inserting new material shot after the 1925 version was finished. These included a sound sequence with opera star Mary Fabian singing in the role of Carlotta. In the re-edited version, Virginia Pearson, who played Carlotta in the silent 1925 version, is credited and referred to as "Carlotta's Mother" instead.

The restored print retains only one scene in two-strip colour, of a masked ball. Some other sections are coloured by tints, and in the original print the phantom's cape was hand painted in one scene. This effect has been replicated in a 1997 print by computer editing.

The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

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