The Phantom of the Opera

Movie Information

In Brief: The Asheville Film Society continues its October celebration of spook cinema with the first true big budget American horror feature, The Phantom of the Opera (1925). While it's mostly remembered for Lon Chaney's grotesque appearance — Roger Ebert called the Phantom's unmasking scene "one of the most famous moments in silent cinema" —it's easy for modern audiences to forget how groundbreaking this film was beyond Chaney's makeup. The set design was remarkably ahead of its time, as was the film's selective use of color tinting, but it's really Chaney's performance that continues to captivate nearly a century after the film's debut. Yes, it's an exercise in spectacle over story, and much of what passed for grandiosity in 1925 may be lost on jaded modern moviegoers, but it's arguably the best screen version of the Phantom and an undeniable cornerstone in the history of the American horror film.
Genre: Horror
Director: Rupert Julian
Starring: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen The Phantom of the Opera on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.


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