I need to be sleeping now, but blogging while any type of Phantom event is still fresh in my mind takes some precedence. Earlier this evening at 8 PM, my sweet love and I attended a screening of the 1925 silent version of Phantom of the Opera at Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY. My friend Dan was kind enough to inform me of this upcoming event. The movie was accompanied with live organ music.
The organist was a gentlemen by the name of Jeff Barker, he did an amazing job playing away while the movie was being shown. The best part was when he played the classic phantom music, not the ALW overture, but the classic Halloween horror theme that is known for the Phantom. Mr. Barker's organ playing made you feel the movie, and get into it even more then you would without the organ music.
Seeing the 1925 Phantom of the Opera on the big screen was...well it was amazing among other things. We were shown a print from the private collection of a man I assumed to be one of the employees at Tarrytown or part of a group that chose to put together this screening. The print he had was actually a later edition of the movie released in 1930, with the technicolor bal masque sequence. There was also some sound from when they chose to add sound to the movie, but we didn't hear any sound during the screening. What stood out to me most while viewing this movie was how clear the film appeared, my DVDs of the 1925 movie have never seemed this crisp and clear.
The 1925 movie in itself is the closest to the original novel by Gaston Leroux. The chandelier falls in the very beginning of the film, you see the torture chamber brought to life, you see Christine's choice between the scorpion and the grasshopper, you notice all of the things the phantom has bought for her and kept inside of his lair. A few minor changes in the film, the role of the persian in the book has been changed to police inspector Ledoux, and Erik dies at the end after an angry mob chases him, beats him and throws him into a river. *sniffles*
Lon Chaney does a wonderful job on the make up for the Phantom as well as his portrayal in the role. His make up is the closest to Gaston Leroux's Phantom, his role makes you feel for the phantom, and yet see him as an intimidating man. Mary Philbin was a great Christine, her best part to me was at the end of the film when she was trying to lie to Erik and deny hearing voices while Raoul and Ledoux were in the torture chamber. Norman Kerry as Raoul, well he did an excellent job portraying the character I despise.
Here is more information from IMDB about the original 1925 movie should you wish to know :)