The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:52 pm

DSamuels90 wrote:Anyone who loves this movie version NEEDS this book: http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Opera-Hollywood-Archives-v/dp/1882127331/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279349993&sr=1-1

It contains a thorough history of the pre-production, filming, and various releases of the movie, as well as the complete shooting script, transcripts of dialogue sequences from the sound reissue, and the complete press book. It's filled with movie stills and promotional photos, and even includes a very detailed analysis of Lon Chaney's makeup (and how he would change it depending on the scene and lighting).

It's a very interesting book, but a bit depressing in the end. The author mentions where various cut scenes had been seen throughout the years, but nobody has/will collect all of the footage to be restored properly.

I agree, this is an absolute must-have for any Phantom fan. So many goodies in it!

I think there are a few errors in it as I recall a fan making a list of them a long time ago. Nothing particularly major though. I am very dubious about the claim that Leroux liked the Chaney film so much he planned a sequel for it called Return of the Phantom where the Phantom ends up confronting Raoul and Christine in Madrid (no, not Coney Island). There is no evidence that Leroux ever planned a sequel -- there are certainly no surviving drafts or manuscripts -- and I believe it was revealed after the initial hype of this 'sequel' that the nephew of Carl Laemmle who was in charge of Universal at the time was actually responsible for this concocted 'hoax' and that Leroux had nothing to do with this at all.

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:40 pm

Argh, how did I not know about this? BBC4 is doing a documentary series called The History of Horror, and the first episode looks at the era of Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff etc. Those in the UK can still watch this via iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v9gy5

In the first episode, the presenter goes to Universal and we get a nice view of what the Paris Opera set looks like today. I'm confused though -- here the set looks really nice and it is coloured just like the real thing, but I've got pictures of it where it's entirely whitewashed! Can anyone enlighten me? Screencaps below...the final screencap is of a lifecast of Lon Chaney's actual face (spooky!). Apparently he used this to try out deformations to the face sometimes instead of trying it out on himself first, so he could see what it'd look like.







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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  operafantomet on Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:43 pm

Maybe they recently painted it? Doesn't make sense, though...

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:52 pm

operafantomet wrote:Maybe they recently painted it? Doesn't make sense, though...

Here's the picture I have where the set appears to have been whitewashed:



Can anyone shed any light on this mystery not yet fully explained?

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Phantomlove on Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:55 pm

Perhaps the later photo is a flash photo that is somewhat overexposed? I'm not sure I belive it myself but it is a theory. Flash has a tendency of distorting colours.

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:00 pm

Phantomlove wrote:Perhaps the later photo is a flash photo that is somewhat overexposed? I'm not sure I belive it myself but it is a theory. Flash has a tendency of distorting colours.

Nice theory but one I'm about to destroy with this photo I just found lurking in the labyrinths of my comp:



Looks as though they *have* recently painted it? In which case, what was it like when they filmed Phantom?

EDIT: From browsing the Web, it seems they paint it quite often. In one picture it has even been painted red! It makes me sad they're not really doing much to preserve the set, it sounds like it's falling apart. I wonder what became of those Grand Escalier and other Paris Opera sets? Apparently the chandelier was in place right until 1965, when it was taken down during the shooting of a Hitchcock movie...then it got put into storage and, unsurprisingly, disappeared...

Random piece of trivia though for anyone who didn't know and which I find quite cool: the swan bed that Christine wakes up in the Phantom's lair was recycled to become none other than Norma Desmond's bed in Sunset Blvd! Universal bought it from a famous French dancer (who later turned out to be Czech) called Gaby Deslys. I wonder where that bed is now...

Has anyone here had the privilege of visiting Stage 28? That's a Phantom shrine I have yet to see...

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ML6 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:32 pm

It is *extremely* difficult to visit Set 28. The only time you can really go inside is if s a movie/show is not using that set. The last time I remember anybody being able to get on the set was about four years ago. And it was because the 'tram' broke down and the set was free from crew. So, they allowed people to go inside and walk around. But it's one of the biggest sets, and its always being used... Sad

From what I also gathered (from a friend), the set was used back in the seventies or eighties for a movie. I can't remember the film, but that was the last time I know the set was used. Then, sometime in the eighties or nineties, they placed a plaque on the stage honoring the set. I believe there is one for the Court of Miracles from Lon Chaney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, too. They are the only sets known on the Universal Lot (besides Esther Williams pool) that have been around the longest. And they are constantly making sure the sets are kept to their pristine condition. (But like the Set 28, you can't walk on the Court of Miracles set. They sometimes hold parties and if you have the VIP pass -- which is about 200 something -- you can walk on it.)



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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Paula74 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:57 pm

Scorp wrote:
Random piece of trivia though for anyone who didn't know and which I find quite cool: the swan bed that Christine wakes up in the Phantom's lair was recycled to become none other than Norma Desmond's bed in Sunset Blvd! Universal bought it from a famous French dancer (who later turned out to be Czech) called Gaby Deslys. I wonder where that bed is now...

I recognized the bed about a year ago. I'd seen Sunset Boulevard many times without noticing it. But the last time around, I'd seen Chaney's Phantom only a week or so earlier. And I suddenly realized, "That's THE bed." I think I jabbed my partner in the arm and said as much...but he didn't seem to get the significance. Though, to his credit, he did enjoy both movies...and he usually only likes movies with fast cars, babes in bikinis, and lots of explosions. Rolling Eyes

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:38 pm

An interesting fact it was white washed at least in 1989, when Michael Crawford was in LA for the Webber musical, in fact Micheal Crawford visited the set with some of the cast, Dale Kristien wore a T-shirt with the Paris Opera, Michael toured the set and a Lon Chaney Phantom seized Michael in BOX 5, the Chaney Phantom, as well as most of the Univerasal Monsters that day wore the Webber's phantom mask,

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:22 pm

ladygodiva wrote:An interesting fact it was white washed at least in 1989, when Michael Crawford was in LA for the Webber musical, in fact Micheal Crawford visited the set with some of the cast, Dale Kristien wore a T-shirt with the Paris Opera, Michael toured the set and a Lon Chaney Phantom seized Michael in BOX 5, the Chaney Phantom, as well as most of the Univerasal Monsters that day wore the Webber's phantom mask,

Do you know this first-hand or is there a nice article/video somewhere about it from your archives? If the latter, would love to see...

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:11 pm

I saw a blurb on Entertainment Tonight in 1989, I do have that on VHS video, not on anything that I can down load, and I also have some photos from the event, I bought from a professional photographer, one of the many paparazzi,

Like I said, it was the height of Phantom in LA, and Micheal was the toast of the town,

If anyone wants copys of stuff that I have just send a self addressed stamped envelope and I can send a list of what I have, I am afraid, that I only have the old fashioned VHS, and I cannot Download or Upload, I can make xerox copies and some photo copies, just PM me for my address.

right now I am making copies for another fan, so as soon as I get most of her stuff out I can do for others,

Like I said, I have been a fan since even before it hit New York, and I have tons of video footage/interviews, scenes, magazines, newpaper articles, and the like

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Raphael on Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:24 am

Painting and repainting the opera house set wouldn't surprise me. It's a working studio set, so the filmmaking team will customize it to whatever they need for their specific production.

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:16 pm

A screencap I forgot to post was one of Carla Laemmle being interviewed. For someone who is a 100 years old, she looks very healthy indeed and was very animated throughout the whole interview. She said Chaney was a genius and said Philbin fainted for real when she first saw Chaney in his Phantom make-up.



Liking the Chaney Phantom model beside her. I quite want one. Does anyone here have any Chaney souvenirs?

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ladygodiva on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:47 pm

Wow, amazing, and I love the Chaney Doll behind her

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Raphael on Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:37 pm

Look who was cool enough to make it onto "Ain't It Cool News" Smile

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51571

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:01 am

Just in time for Halloween, Moviefone posted a series of stories about hauntings in Hollywood, and the first tale to be told features our favorite silent film and its legendary leading man.

The Phantom Stage?

Lon Chaney -- the Man of a Thousand Faces -- is eternally connected to one of his most famous performances, in more ways than one. Filming for his silent classic 'The Phantom of the Opera' took place on Soundstage 28 of Universal Studios, which has since been re-dubbed "the Phantom Stage." You can still find a piece of the Paris opera house set on the Phantom Stage after 80 plus years, and legend has it that you can also hear strange voices throughout. Crew members working on new projects have claimed to see a man in black resembling Chaney in his 'Phantom' garb roaming the catwalk.

Full Feature Here: http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/10/24/haunted-hollywood-ghost-stories/#photo-1?ncid=webmail2

Happy Halloween. Smile

~Madame~

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Devon on Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:01 am

I so wish I could have gone to this at one of our local theaters this past Saturday! The Mabel Tainter Theater (where my husband and I do some video production work for) aired the silent "Phantom of the Opera" on a screen on stage and had a gentleman there playing the pipe organ during it. If there was ONE time I wanted to get off of work that was it...LOL It sounded sooooo cool. :-) I've attached the website, just scroll down a bit and it is still listed.

http://www.mabeltainter.com/

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Raphael on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:47 am

The Lon Chaney classic now available on blu-ray:

http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Opera-Silent-Blu-ray-Chaney/dp/B005FQ2H0A

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Raphael on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:06 pm

My thoughts on the new Phantom of the Opera (1925/1929) blu-ray:

Wow, is the picture quality on the 1929 reissue version crystal clear! Being such an old film and the print not in the best shape to begin with, I wasn't expecting much, but this really impressed me in the level of detail you could make out compared to the standard definition copies out there. The 1929 version has 3 different scores to choose from: a new one by Alloy Orchestra which is a snore (I actually fell asleep twice while screening it), a Gaylord Carter theater organ score (far superior in setting the proper feel), and a Gabriel Thibaudeau score with Claudine Cote for soprano. It also has a new audio commentary by Dr. Jon Mirsalis.

Also included is the 1925 NY version (in standard def) with a piano score by Frederick Hodges. This is the same one featured on disc 2 of the Milestone Ultimate Edition that came out back in '03. FAR more faithful to the original Leroux novel than the later cuts, I'd recommend this one for viewing regardless of its lack of hi-def transfer.

Bonus content is limited to an interview with composer Thibaudeau, a still gallery, the script, the original theatrical trailer, and a reproduction of the original souvenir programme.

The menu is rather confusing as it only lists 3 of the scores (plus bonus features) as your choices. Selecting one of the scores grants you access to the missing options (like the Carter organ score and audio commentary). It's also very disappointing that the Carl Davis score and original 1930 score for the 1929 reissue and Dr. Mirsalis' score for the 1925 version were not included, nor were Scott MacQueen's audio commentary, the audio clips of the 1930 dialogue sequences, the still galleries of the deleted and missing scenes, etc. from the Ultimate Edition. Due to these oversights, I'd give this blu-ray edition a B-. Great to see the best of the Phantom films in high definition, but by not including so many of the rare content from their earlier Ultimate Edition, Image Entertainment missed the opportunity to make it the definitive edition.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FQ2H0A/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_6hxVob1ZMM6YQ

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:48 am

Thanks for the review! There's another one here: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/150955-the-phantom-of-the-opera/

I have a blu-ray player but I've never bothered to buy blu-ray discs because I want my DVDs to work on all players... Maybe when blu-ray becomes the norm rather than the exception I'll convert...

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ML6 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:41 pm

I'm still content with my Milestone Edition DVD and I'm not going to buy a DVD just for the picture. :/

Criterion should have taken up releasing this, they would have never let this slide without all the extras.

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:27 pm

I don't think this has been posted on the board yet, but I stumbled across a pretty amusing old beauty product that exploited the Phantom craze over the 1925 film:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1925-Universal-monster-Lon-Chaney-Phantom-Opera-store-display-Mary-Philbin-/260938164472?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc12068f8

Pretty cool, a really neat piece of movie marketing history - but not worth $4500 to me, lol.

~Madame~

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:36 pm

And as a special treat for all you San Francisco Bay Area fans on this board:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LON-CHANEY-PHANTOM-OPERA-RARE-PREMIERE-NEWSPAPER-1925-/110812384707?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cceecdc3

How cool is it that the theatre where the San Francisco production of ALW's Phantom played for several years was also the site of the World Premiere of the Chaney 1925 Phantom film? Smile

~Madame~

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  AlwaysChristine on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:21 pm

Scorp wrote:A screencap I forgot to post was one of Carla Laemmle being interviewed. For someone who is a 100 years old, she looks very healthy indeed and was very animated throughout the whole interview. She said Chaney was a genius and said Philbin fainted for real when she first saw Chaney in his Phantom make-up.



Liking the Chaney Phantom model beside her. I quite want one. Does anyone here have any Chaney souvenirs?

Great! Really, I have only the movie but nothing more!
His make up was really good!

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:57 pm

I finally got round to buying Carl Davis' soundtrack for this film. It uses a lot of the themes from Gounod's Faust, a lot more than I originally noticed when I first heard it. I like it - very atmospheric.

Speaking of soundtracks for this film, there is currently a project underway to fund a new release of this film using the ORIGINAL music especially written for its release in 1925. Apparently it's never been recorded for the film before. There's a fund-raising website which says they're aiming for an October 2012 release, and if you contribute some money, you can get all kinds of Phantomy rewards depending on how much you give: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/249488163/the-phantom-of-the-opera-unmasking-a-masterpiece

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Raphael on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:58 pm

I just saw that fundraising page last night, Scorp. The dvd sounds interesting; I hope they manage to get the funding they require to complete the project. Maybe I'll promote it on my FB pages...

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:52 pm

Was looking into the work of Thomas Kuebler, who specializes in making ultra-realistic sculptures of horror/bizzarre/macabre subjects. These pieces are large scale, and incorporate such details as real hair, hand-sewn clothing, and translucent-looking "skin".

He's done a magnficent (I presume life-sized) Chaney Phantom piece, which you can see here:
http://www.tskuebler.com/gallery/classics_legends/phantom/index.htm

Be sure to take a look around other parts of his website. The skill and talent that goes into each piece is amazing!

~Madame~

PS - he's also done a fantastic piece depicting Joseph Merrick, aka - "The Elephant Man": http://www.tskuebler.com/gallery/beggars_freaks/elephant_man/index.htm

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  InkedAlchemist on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:56 am

Madame Giry wrote:

Be sure to take a look around other parts of his website. The skill and talent that goes into each piece is amazing!

~Madame~

PS - he's also done a fantastic piece depicting Joseph Merrick, aka - "The Elephant Man": http://www.tskuebler.com/gallery/beggars_freaks/elephant_man/index.htm

Oh man. He did a "Freaks" movie series, too. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  Scorp on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:30 pm

Check out this absolutely stunning new figure by Diamond Select Toys:




More info @ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/30/zadzooks-phantom-opera-figure-review-diamond/

I'd quite like this but am not sure where to purchase it from. I found this Amazon page, though -- is this the same product? http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Select-Toys-Universal-Monsters/dp/B007TTBAW2

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

Post  ML6 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:40 am

Yep! That's the same product, Scorp! I have a few 'toys' from Diamond Select. They do a really good job!

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Re: The 1925 Lon Chaney Version

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