Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

 



Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

In director Rupert Julian's gothic costumed horror film:

  • the main character was opera singer Christine Daae (Mary Philbin), an understudy for the Paris Opera House's main prima donna star Carlotta (Virginia Pearson) who was portraying the role of Marguerite on-stage

Christine Daae
(Mary Philbin)

Confronted By the Masked Phantom

Led Down Staircase
  • the Phantom (Lon Chaney - "the man of a thousand faces") was responsible for the spooky haunting of the Opera House with a mask covering his acid-scarred face; he dropped a giant crystal chandelier on the opera's audience during Carlotta's performance
  • the Phantom appeared to Christine when he reassured her: "Look not upon my mask - think rather of my devotion which has brought you the gift of song," before leading her down a stone staircase, guiding her on horseback down a series of levels to a gondola, and eventually over a "black lake" to his lair ("rendezvous"); there, he kissed the hem of her dress (as she shrank back): ("I have brought you here - - five cellars underground - because I love you. For long weary months, I have awaited this hour! So that which is good within me, aroused by your purity, might plead for your love!")

Christine Taken Away by Gondola

Into the Phantom's Lair

Kissing Her Dress
  • when Christine tried to flee from his unwanted affection, she entered his black-draped bed chamber and discovered that the Phantom slept in a coffin-like bed - he explained: "That is where I sleep. It keeps me reminded of that other dreamless sleep that cures all ills - forever!"
  • after she pointed at him and exclaimed: "You - You are the Phantom!" - he replied: "If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me"; he introduced himself as Erik: "Men once knew me as Erik, but for many years I have lived in these cellars, a nameless legend" - she responded by fainting and fitfully sleeping
  • Christine received a written note: "YOU ARE IN NO PERIL AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT TOUCH MY MASK. YOU WILL BE FREE AS LONG AS YOUR LOVE FOR THE SPIRIT OF ERIK OVERCOMES YOUR FEAR"
  • in a shocking scene, the abducted Christine crept up behind the Phantom, who was at his organ playing "Don Juan Triumphant" - the Phantom was unmasked by Christine who sat behind him, ripped off his mask, and revealed the Phantom's skull-like, disfigured monster face; after she cowered back, he grabbed her and laughed maniacally: "Feast your eyes - glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!...Oh, mad Christine, who would not heed my warning!"
  • she begged to be released from his underground dungeon, promising: " I promise to be your slave forever" - and he allowed her to return to her world "to sing in the opera once more" - but he also threatened that she shouldn't meet with Raoul (Norman Kerry) ever again: "You shall not see your lover again! If you do, it is death to you both!"
The Shocking Unmasking of the Phantom
  • the Phantom made a sudden 'Red Death' appearance (from the Edgar Allan Poe short short) among the guests at the two-color Technicolor Bal Masque de L'Opera (Title card: "Into the midst of the revelry, strode a spectral figure, robed in red"); he soon learned of the rendezvous of Raoul and Christine, overhead their conversation and Christine's plea to Raoul ("He is a monster - a loathsome beast! You must save me from him, Raoul!"); Raoul's plan to save her was to flee to safety in London, England after her last performance
  • the authorities revealed that the Phantom was a "master of the black art", who had been "exiled to Devil's Island for criminal insane" but had escaped

Christine with Raoul

The Phantom's Betrayal: "She has betrayed me!"

Another Kidnapping and More Threats
  • in the exciting conclusion, the efforts of Raoul and Inspector Ledoux (the man in a fez, actually a member of the "Secret Police") (Arthur Edmund Carewe) saved Christine after she was once again kidnapped by the spurned Phantom; to save the two from drowning, Christine promised to become the Phantom's bride ("I'll do anything you say, if you will only save them"); he released them, but ultimately was killed by a raging and vengeful mob (they beat him to near death and threw him into the Seine River)
  • meanwhile, Raoul had been saved and was in Christine's arms

Dropping of Giant Chandelier Onto Opera House Audience

Masked Phantom (Lon Chaney)

Christine Daae


The Phantom's Profession of Love for Christine - and Her Abhorrence




After the Unmasking - Pointing at Christine as She Cowered Back



The 'Red Death' Figure (The Phantom) at Bal Masque

The Ominous and Threatening Phantom

Happy Ending for Raoul and Christine

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