The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

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The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Raphael on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:59 pm

Lush production values, dueling Raouls, and a Christine that can SING! While this was the first film to start the wronged composer disfigured by acid trend, it's still a personal favorite of mine. And the DVD has a great documentary on the film, too.

R.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  IamErik771 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:38 pm

I finally got to see the official DVD version (as opposed to the one I had before that was recorded off a TV broadcast), and I agree about the documentary... 'twas marvelous!

As for the film itself, I agree -- despite the fact that our Erik (or in this case, Erique) wasn't deformed from birth, this remains one of my favorite versions. I think it's the only film so far where I really liked Christine's portrayal, though Mary Philbin still holds a special place in my heart. And I'm amused that Claude's acid burn still looks better (aka worse) than the "deformity" from the 2004 film.


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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Paula74 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:50 pm

^^^ I've seen gaudy shirts that look worse than the 2004 deformity. Twisted Evil

There's too many departures from the basic Phantom story for my taste...but I do love Claude Rains in almost anything. Plus, while she's not my favorite film Christine, Susanna Foster was lovely in the role.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  TGITPC on Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:19 pm

I finally got to see this version only recently (a good phriend of mine sent me a link to it) and I can't say that it's one of my all time favorites. I didn't like far it strayed from the original and the fact that there were two Raouls I found annoying. There's nothing wrong with Raoul, but they both were completly useless throughout the whole film. I felt like this film was just made to please the audience than actually tell the story of Phantom.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  MlleMusique on Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:09 am

I felt like this film was just made to please the audience than actually tell the story of Phantom.

Well given the context of its release, that's probably the primary reason it was made.
This version is a 'safe' favourite, its elegant, big and theatrical and musically lush. Susannah's Christine is a darling, and obviously intelligent, based on the way she handles three desperate suitors... Smile
I still can't decide if I like Rain's tragic portrayal of the Phantom...the 'dark' side was kind of missing and that's what makes the Phantom so interesting (and alluring) in my opinion. The two Raouls just annoyed me.

But the music was fabulous, even if the opera sequences dragged on a bit too long for my taste. And the acid burning thing just sucked. But overall its a really decent version, and its the one I show all my friends for an 'introduction' to the Phantom story....(cos I'm just embarrassed if they say their first time was the 2004 film... Mad )

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Paula74 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:31 pm

MlleMusique wrote:

the 'dark' side was kind of missing

I guess that's one of my big problems with this movie. A little more darkness and mystery and, maybe, I would have liked it better...despite straying so far from the core Phantom story.

The two Raouls just annoyed me.

Same here. One too many. But I will admit I do love the ending...

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  HDKingsbury on Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:11 pm

This was the movie that introduced me to the whole Phantom business...way back when I was growing up. Thanks to this movie, I discovered Leroux...and Lon Chaney...and a lot of other Phantoms (good, not-so-good, and downright awful) that have come since.

Though this is not Leroux's idea of Phantom, it is still my favorite version -- and not just for sentimental reasons, but also because I love the heck out of Claude Rains and Nelson Eddy. I love you And Susanna Foster is my favorite Christine, too.

Yes, for better or worse, it's having been made during the height of WWII had a lot to do with those changes to the story. Not too long ago, I watched my copy (again) with the commentary track on (again) Wink ...and put together a short piece on the story that wasn't filmed and posted it on my Facebook page. If anyone's interested in reading it, I'd be happy to post it here as well.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Callie Daae on Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:27 pm

I thought it was great! Did anyone else hear that the orignal plot of the movie was supposed to that Christine ended up being his daughter?!!!! Shocked But they decided to take it out cause of the incest theme!!! LOL Laughing


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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  HDKingsbury on Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:56 pm

Yes, In fact, here's are some notes I took while watching this version while listening to the commentary track recently. I'd posted it over on my Facebook page...and since the matter of the original plot line has come up, figured I'd post it here as well. Enjoy!

The Phantom Movie That Was Never Made
Notes taken while listening to the commentary track of the 1943 Phantom of the Opera
HDKingsbury, July 18, 2009


Back in 1941, when Universal decided to remake its silent classic, The Phantom of the Opera, studio heads felt that audiences had grown up in twenty-some years since the former was made, that people were too sophisticated to believe in Leroux’s story. (Yet little more than four decades later, audiences did exactly that when Andrew Lloyd Webber trotted out his musical version of the same story. But that’s another story for another time.)

So when it came to working up a screenplay for their remake, the studio moved away from what they saw as the supernatural elements of the story, worried that viewers would not accept a young girl taking orders from a voice behind a mirror. Instead of a story with more than a touch of fantasy, Universal opted for one more in the lines of a traditional mystery.

As those of you who have watched the 1943 version of Phantom know, this story has little in common with Leroux’s original—other than the location (the Paris Opera), a blond singer named Christine (duBois instead of Daaé), somebody named Raoul (d'Aubert, a policeman, not de Chagny, a vicomte) and a disfigured musician (named Erique rather than Erik). Yes, there are other similarities such as Erique terrorizing the Opera House so that Christine can sing for him and his infatuation with the ingénue, but the ’43 Phantom and Leroux’s original (even Chaney’s silent version, for that matter) are more like distant relatives to this remake. Yet for all of these changes, if the scriptwriters and studio heads had had their way, the story would have been even more different.

What follows is an attempt on my part to put into writing some of the original story line, based upon commentary by film historian Scott MacQueen that can be heard on the DVD edition of the Rains film. I call this “The Phantom Movie That Was Never Made.”

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Some of the early changes that did not make it into the movie involved Raoul, who in the first drafts was going to be an early inventor of the phonograph, and Claudin’s face, which was initially going to have been scarred by a knife attack. The latter was eventually changed to the infamous pan of acid.

In this new story line, it would be Claudin’s pursuit of music that was to be the driving force behind the events in this version. For Claudin, Music would be his drug, his addiction. It would cause him to give up a lucrative position at the family mill in Provence and to leave his wife and infant daughter, Christine.

Abandoned, left without any means of support, Claudin’s wife dies of a broken heart...and starvation. It is the wife’s sister, Aunt Madeleine, who rescues the child and raises Christine. In this version of the screenplay, it would be Raoul who would eventually play detective and learn all of this from Christine’s aunt in a scene that never made it into the movie, yet was apparently filmed as shown in this still.

Years later, Claudin and his estranged daughter meet by chance. This sparks his interest and her musicality (although the commentator does not go into detail as to how exactly this was to be accomplished). Encouraged in some manner by Claudin, Christine embarks on an operatic career, over her family’s objections. They remember what music did to her father, and how his obsession killed her mother. Aunt Madeleine encourages Christine to cultivate her friendship with Raoul, who by this time in the script is either a police detective or still the phonograph inventor, railing against music, reminding Christine what it did to her father. But Christine (perhaps not unlike her father) cannot resist the lure of music.

In a plot twist, Claudin was planning to flee to America, taking his rediscovered daughter with him in order to further her career. Trapped in the catacombs, the police closing in, Raoul confronts Claudin and gives him a pistol with which to commit suicide.

“He was right about America, Christine,” Raoul would say to Christine in the end. “For you, there is the New York Opera, and for me, there is a man named Edison I might work for.”

But we’re jumping ahead of ourselves! There is still more of Claudin’s story to be told, including how he became this scarred, insane person who terrorizes the opera house.

In the original screenplay treatment, Claudin was to be shown composing in the style of both Shostokovich and Stravinski – in 1873. (Remind anyone of Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Phantom’s Don Juan Triumphant?) Already, he displays signs of instability in spite of receiving encouragement from such luminaries as Franz Liszt (who was kept in the movie).

As he sits in his cheap, rented rooms, Claudin plays one of his compositions (on the piano or the violin, I do not know). There, he envisions himself receiving the cheers and adulation from the multitudes that have come to hear him perform. His reverie is interrupted, however, by the mocking laughter of a prostitute, heard through the open window. Claudin snaps and attacks the woman. She attempts to fight back, and before he chokes the life out of her, she slashes his face with a butcher’s knife, leaving him horribly disfigured.

Chased by the police, who apparently have been alerted to the attack, Claudin escapes and takes refuge in the opera, hiding his injured face behind a hideously painted mask. It is while living here that he encounters his daughter, and soon engages in a reign of terror in an effort to promote her rise to stardom. Later, during the annual masked ball (sorry, no Red Death was mentioned), he abducts Christine and takes her to the cellars where he reveals their relationship.

As this project was being worked on, the story went through many changes. In another rewrite (echoes of which can be found in the movie), a performance of Claudin’s symphony lures him back above to the stage, where he is gunned down by the police. The movie was to end when a coal fire in Claudin’s lair ignites the building – (Shades of ALW’s conflagration in the 2004 film version of his stage play!) – and Christine, her foster parents and Raoul are the only survivors of that opening night performance of her father’s doomed symphony.

-0-0-0-

All right, this is not the Phantom that most of us know and love, but I can’t help but think that in the hands of the right author, these various story lines could be woven into a good story.

Here's a still I came across from one of the cut scenes -- this one of Anatole with Christine's aunt.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  MlleMusique on Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:19 am

HDKingsbury, thanks for that great info!

Does anyone know where I can get a version of 'Lullaby of the Bells' (the piece Christine sings at her home, and adapted as the Phantom's concerto) that isn't on Youtube? I know there's a 'rare' instrumental on there, but I wanted a version (preferably with lyrics) that I could download...

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  HDKingsbury on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:45 pm

I don't know about anyplace where you can download, but you can buy the original soundtrack (literally, the tracks from the movie) on CD:

http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Opera-Mummy-Various-Composers/dp/B00006BNFZ

I have this, and it includes the Lullaby of the Bells with Nelson Eddy and Susan Foster singing.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  ML6 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:04 am

I do like this version, mainly because they use the same 'Opera House' as the Lon Chaney one and I have an undying crush on Claude Rains. <3

But anyway, I was really surprised one day a couple years ago to come across one of the old piano scores for 'Lullaby of the Bells' from when this film came out. Naturally, I bought it for 25 cents. It has no cover, the pages are still in tact and I got my sister to play it on the piano. And it made me happy.

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  HDKingsbury on Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:15 pm

How cool is that!

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Vicomtesse de Chagny on Fri May 28, 2010 6:46 pm

Thanks for posting that info, HD! It was indeed a very interesting read, and I agree that in the right hands it could make a good story. Not fond of the suggested gun scenes though, and the prostitute attack... meh, I dunno. Though I like how it was just a trivial thing that pushed him over the edge as opposed to something big and dramatic. The thought of Raoul as an inventor makes me giggle. Razz I can't help but think it could make for an interesting scene with Claudin wanting his music published and Raoul wanting music to play on his new invention.

They didn't say anything about how/why the Anatole character was added, did they?

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the 1943 film

Post  ladygodiva on Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:32 am

I have not seen it in a while so last night I found a copy and watched it, like some of it, some of it was chop-logic, some of it was clever dialogue, and a little more humor, I love how Christines suiters were allways saying after you,then both would head into the door and be jammed up.

I loved the lake it was quite nice, although I remember saying where is a boat when you need one.

I love the following where he is taking her down and he says "Look at your Lake Christine" Found these qoutes online:
[Claudin is talking to Christine as they descend into the catacombs beneath the Opera]
Enrique Claudin: See? Didn't I tell you it was beautiful? You didn't know we had a lake all to ourselves, did you?
[Christine covers her face and sobs]
Enrique Claudin: They've poisoned your mind against me. That's why you're afraid. Look at your lake, Christine. You'll love it here when you get used to the dark. And you'll love the dark, too. It's friendly and peaceful. It brings rest and relief from pain. It's right under the Opera. The music comes down and the darkness distills it, cleanses it of the suffering that made it. Then it's all beauty. And life here is like a resurrection.


Here are some Memorable quotes
Enrique Claudin: Mademoiselle, may I speak to you for a minute?
Christine DuBois: Why, of course.
Enrique Claudin: You weren't on the stage tonight for the third act curtain call.
Christine DuBois: Everyone seems to notice. It's really quite flattering.
Enrique Claudin: [Becoming concerned] Why weren't you there?
[Christine is puzzled]
Enrique Claudin: Forgive me, but I have been a part of the Opera for so long. Everybody, everything connected with it, I feel it is so much a part of my life.
[Christine pauses, then smiles]
Christine DuBois: Yes, well, Monsieur Villeneuve is waiting for you.
Enrique Claudin: You weren't ill, were you? You're not in any trouble, are you? Why it's impertinent of me, I know, but...
[Claudin stalls, soon Christine kindly shakes his hand and smiles]
Christine DuBois: You're very kind. Thank you.
[Christine starts to leave]
Enrique Claudin: CHRISTINE!
[Christine turns back to Claudin in shock, Claudin soon realizes his mistake]
Enrique Claudin: I'm sorry. Forgive me.

[Christine has left Raoul and Anatole in her dressing room while she greets a crowd of admirers]
Raoul D'Aubert: Would you join me for a bit of supper at the Cafe de l'Opera?
Anatole Garron: With pleasure, monsieur.
Raoul D'Aubert: Think we can get through this crowd?
Anatole Garron: Certainly. After all, who'd pay any attention to a baritone and a detective?

Amiot: [Upon hearing about a thief in the opera house] Call the police at once! This must be stopped!
Vereheres: Monsieur, I'm afraid the police can't stop that. It's he.
Amiot: Who?
[VEREHERES begins to make gestures at his nose and chin]
Amiot: Oh, please. Don't start that nonsense again, Vercheres. At your age, you ought to know that there aren't any ghosts.
Vereheres: Monsieur, you are skeptical, but I don't like ghosts. I'm a busy man.
Lecours: What's that?
Amiot: Oh, our brilliant stage manager insists there's a malicious ghost prowling about the Opera. If anything goes wrong, he thinks this ghost did it!
Vereheres: Oh, monsieur...
[to LECOURS, again making gestures to his nose and chin]
Vereheres: He has a long nose, and a big red beard!
Lecours: You make me nervous!



Signor Ferretti: [FERRETTI is telling CLAUDIN that if he can no longer pay for CHRISTINE's lessons, FERRETTI will have to stop teaching her] I'm sorry, Claudin. Really sorry. If I had the time- But my expenses are great, and you must remember that many who can pay are waiting to study with me. Well, I'll let her come a few times, and, uh, then I will tell her she no longer needs me.
Enrique Claudin: B-But that isn't true.
Signor Ferretti: As a matter of fact, if you had the money, she might be launched on a career very soon. I assume that Mademoiselle Dubois has not the means to pay for her own instructions.
Enrique Claudin: Why, her month's salary wouldn't be enough to pay for one of your lessons. But, uh, I have written a concerto. Now, will you trust me if I can arrange to have it published?
Signor Ferretti: Every violinist has written a concerto! Come, come, my dear Claudin.
Enrique Claudin: But I have faith in this one. As much faith as I had in Mademoiselle Dubois when I came to you three years ago. Now, I was right about her, Signor. And I'm right about this. Pleyel and Desjardins are certain to publish it, and they'll give me a substantial advance. You'll see!



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Hume Cronyn interview in LA tv show

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:57 pm

Hume Cronyn was on a Los Angeles talk show Chuck Woolery, and also on the couch happened to be Dale Kristien, who was early on in on the Los Angeles Andrew Lloyd Webber version of the Phantom of the Opera.

he was not all to thrilled about the movie with Claude Raines

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:47 pm

This is one of my favorite versions. It is gorgeous, with lush Technicolor, Victorian sets and costumes - and have you ever seen so rosy-cheeked Christine? Erique is sympathetic, insane and tragic...

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:49 pm

interesting website on Susanna Foster

http://www.susannafosterchronicles.com/

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  Scorp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:54 am

An unpleasant attack...but one that can't help but bring to mind this film: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21076192

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Re: The 1943 Film (Claude Rains)

Post  erik1925 on Fri May 03, 2013 4:12 am

While the changes to the story I am not a fan of.. i think what I like most about this version is being able to see SO MUCH of the original opera set and stage (and backstage area) not only in tremendous detail but also in color.

The Chaney version shows very little of the stage area or areas to the left or right of stage. Yes.. we see the Faust performances and cut aways to the boxes and audience.. but this version gave viewers so much more.

The acid burn angle, and the 2 Raouls I wasnt a fan of particularly.

That being said, it is worth watching for those other details. cheers


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