To help celebrate Halloween, the film Academy will screen the classic 1925 silent film, The Phantom of the Opera, featuring a disfigured composer, a fatal obsession, the Paris Opera House and silent film stars Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin, on Thursday, October 20 at their Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Phantom will be shown in a new print with color sequences recreated to match the original release, and the Alloy Orchestra, a world-renowned three-member musical ensemble that creates original sound compositions for silent film with a variety of instruments including clarinet, synthesizer, accordion, saw, banjo and junk percussion, will accompany the presentation.
Based on Gaston Leroux’s often-filmed 1910 novel Le fantôme de l’Opéra, this epochal version stars Chaney as Erik, the Phantom, a masked man living in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House who falls in love with a young opera star, Christine, portrayed by Philbin.
Chaney first appeared as the Phantom in 1925. However, in 1929 the film was substantially re-shot and re-edited in response to the new demand for sound films. With new titles, a musical score and added talking sequences, it was reissued with accompanying Vitaphone/Western Electric sound disks.
The Academy will screen a silent print of the 1929 sound version with the original Technicolor Bal Masque sequences and numerous color-tinted sequences, made by following the tinting directions used for the 1925 release.
Produced by Carl Laemmle and directed by Rupert Julian, The Phantom of the Opera also features Norman Kerry, Snitz Edwards, Gibson Gowland, John Sainpolis and Virginia Pearson.