Phantom Of The Opera, The

Featured In Issue 251, August/September 2020

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Shout Factory
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SF 20958
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Terence Fisher
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DTS HD Lossless 1.0
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(Portuguese Language):

This is the 1962 Hammer Films version of "The Phantom Of The Opera." The mysterious mishaps bedevil a London opera house. The corrupt Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Gough) steals the life's work of the poor composer Professor L. Petrie. (Lom). In an attempt to stop the printing of music with D'Arcy's name on it, Petrie breaks into the printing office and accidentally starts a fire, leaving him severely disfigured. Years later, Petrie returns to terrorize a London opera house that is about to perform one of his stolen operas. When tragedy strikes during the opening night performance, it's clear that these "accidents" are the deliberate work of a deranged madman. When Christine (Sears), the young star of the new musical is contacted by the shadowy specter—The Phantom, her producer investigates, tracking the ghostly Phantom in his secret underground lair. More than an evil apparition, The Phantom proves to be a brilliant composer. Disfigured and nearly destroyed, he now demands his hellish revenge. Christine, his new star, is the one weakness, and he pays the ultimate price to keep his love alive. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Arthur/Film Historian and Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr; commentary by Film Historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson; the featurettes: "The Men Who Made Hammer: Anthony Hinds (HD 27:44), Phantom Triumphant: Edwin Astley And Hammer's Horror Opera" (HD 15:47), "Herbert Lom: The Soul Behind The Mask" (HD 15:28), "The Making Of Phantom Of The Opera" narrated by Actor Edward de Souza (HD 31:01) and "Behind The Scenes Of The Phantom Of The Opera" (HD 03:08); "The Phantom Of The Opera" 1.66:1 version with optional commentary by Steve Haber and Constantine Nasr (01:24:13); the TV version (01:37:59) and the theatrical trailer.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on 35 mm Eastman film stock and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is remarkably free of film grain, for a pleasing pristine appearance. The color palette is strongly saturated with solid primaries such as reds and operatic costumes. Hues are rich and warm. The Phantom's grayish mask is a standout. Fleshtones are natural throughout. The set designs are wonderful with intricate costumes and revealing makeup. Interiors are dimensional and striking. Contrast is excellent with deep blacks and dark shadows. Lighting highlights nicely enhance the imaging contrasts. Resolution is excellent with fine facial, costumes, and object texture features exhibited throughout. This is a wonderful classic approach to filmmaking à la Hammer Films. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 1.0 monaural soundtrack is basically undistinguished and sounds both compressed and shrill. Yet, the orchestral score is rich in scope and a powerful sound element. Atmospherics and sound effects, including Foley, are well mastered and effective, particularly the sound of carriages and the running sewer water. Dialogue is intelligible throughout and effectively integrated spatially. The Phantom's mysterious presence is enhanced with echo effects. Mild tape hiss can be detected upon careful listening. Employing Auro-3D enhances the soundfield and provides an Immersive Sound experience. (Gary Reber)