The Phantom of the Opera: The Ultimate Edition
Gaston Leroux's perverse romance/thriller is by now an oft-told tale. Today The Phantom of the Opera qualifies as the most well-known film from the silent era, even if it is remembered almost solely for one brief moment the disfigured Erik's unmasking at the hands of the woman he loves and has abducted. The shocking revelation of that cadaverous face is so magnificently handled that Lon Chaney's Phantom is now as much a part of Hollywood history as "Rosebud" and Rick's Cafe. Now Phantophiles get a generous double-heaping treatment with a two-disc release courtesy of Milestone Film & Video. We get not just a beautiful restored edition of the 1929 sound version of the film. The 1925 New York silent version is also here, complete for the first time on DVD. The original two-strip Technicolor sequences, tinting, and "Handschiegl" color process are restored or well simulated. Bursting the digital seams are an informative commentary track that's worth the purchase price all by itself, a stunning orchestral score by Carl Davis, and several sub-basement catacombs of ancillary material.