The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

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EddieLarkin
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#26 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:16 pm

Definitely. The 1925 version is in HD (as opposed to SD on the Park Circus) and the 1929 version has a better picture and a better sound accompaniment.

pianist
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#27 Post by pianist » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:04 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:Definitely. The 1925 version is in HD (as opposed to SD on the Park Circus) and the 1929 version has a better picture and a better sound accompaniment.
Found it dirt cheap on base.com - £12.99.

Will have to buy it although I did just purchase The Birth of a Nation yesterday!

pianist
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#28 Post by pianist » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:10 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:Definitely. The 1925 version is in HD (as opposed to SD on the Park Circus) and the 1929 version has a better picture and a better sound accompaniment.
Regarding the HD 1925 version, I believe the print is so badly damaged that it makes little difference. Plus it has the Brownlow documentary on Chaney.

Going with that it's a no-brainer as the first copy anyway.

There are reasons to buy the Park Circus version (extra soundtracks, audio commentary, two different frame rates for the 1929), but BFI for me first up.
Last edited by pianist on Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#29 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:27 pm

It looks awful, but it's much better than the SD version on the Park Circus (which is from a different transfer, as it's tinted. The 1925 version on the BFI is b&w).

pianist
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#30 Post by pianist » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:36 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:It looks awful, but it's much better than the SD version on the Park Circus (which is from a different transfer, as it's tinted. The 1925 version on the BFI is b&w).
I've yet to watch the 1925 version, but thoroughly enjoyed the 1929 one. Extremely good restoration job and a film I would genuinely want to watch again.

Watched all but the final 10 minutes of the Lon Chaney documentary on disc 3. It was very interesting to see a large variety of Chaney's roles. What a fantastic actor he was and a very talented make-up artist too.

It would be good to see more of his output being easily available in region 2. Forgetting the huge number of "lost" Chaney films, there is a considerable reduction of the total available to release, but it seems that the American market is much better catered for.

I wonder if any of the video distributors in the UK will offer up some more Chaney to R2, particularly in restored Blu-ray form. The US is spoiled for choice really - Kino and Criterion provide a high-quality catalogue normally brimming with extras. Over here there is the BFI and Eureka (with only a few region-free releases), their products are always first-rate, but the choice is nowhere near as comprehensive in my opinion.

Eureka are however offering a great choice of European silent films already, with "Dr Caligari", Faust and Frau im Mond to come, and for that I can't be too critical of the lack of American films.

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manicsounds
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#31 Post by manicsounds » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:13 pm

The BFI has both versions in HD on Blu-ray, The Park Circus has the 1929 cut on Blu-ray but the 1925 cut on DVD only.

The BFI has the Lon Chaney full length documentary, The Park Circus has an audio commentary

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Minkin
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#32 Post by Minkin » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:40 pm

Here's a great piece on the "lantern man" sequence + the hodgepodge of surviving elements cobbled into these 1925/1929 versions - by James Rolfe.

Has anyone else investigated all of this? So there should actually be at least four versions of the film? Domestic + international versions of both the 1925 + 1929 versions? Then there's the 50's re-release, and a possible "silent version of the sound film". Then it seems that a bit of all of these are thrown together into the Eastman print. Does Universal still own any of the negatives / prints?

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Feego
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Re: The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)

#33 Post by Feego » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:43 pm

Scott MacQueen discusses much of this in his commentary on the Milestone DVD edition. He posits that there are five versions of the film: the three from 1925, a domestic sound version from 1929 and an international sound version from 1930. He claims that the most commonly seen version which is usually referred to as the 1929 version is actually the 1930 international cut that has been muted. One difference between the two sound versions concerns the casting of Carlotta's mother. MacQueen says that the international version simply used the 1925 footage of Virginia Pearson as Carlotta and changed her to Carlotta's mother by re-writing the intertitles (which is what we see on the Blu-rays). He says that the domestic version featured brand-new talkie footage of a different actress altogether as Carlotta's mother. No visual footage of these scenes exists, but the sound recording does. MacQueen's commentary was recorded for the Photoplay restoration, which is the basis for BFI's Blu-ray edition and does not include the mysterious "man with the lantern" scene (hence it being included as a bonus feature). Kino's Blu-ray was taken from the Blackhawk restoration, which actually does include this bizarre sequence intact. So it seems there is at least a sixth version of the film.

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