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The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

Country of Origin: UK
Year of Production: 1962
Running Times: 80 mins 41 sec (UK - video) 84 mins 15 sec (UK - theatrical)
Format: Eastmancolor 35mm
Ratio: 1.66:1
Sound:

CREDITS

PRODUCTION
Production Company: Hammer Films
Producer: Anthony Hinds
Associate Producer: Basil Keys
Production Manager: Clifford Parkes

SCRIPT
Script: John Elder (real name: Anthony Hinds)
Novel: Gaston Leroux

DIRECTION
Director: Terence Fisher
Assistant Director: John Peverall

PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Photography: Arthur Grant
Camera Operator: Len Harris
Labs: Pathe

EDITING AND POST-PRODUCTION
Supervising Editor: James Needs
Editor: Alfred Cox

MUSIC
Music: Edwin Astley
Opera Scenes Staged By: Dennis Maunder (by permission of the General Administrator, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden)

SOUND
Sound Recording: Jock May
Sound Editor: James Groom
Sound System: RCA Sound Recording

MAKE UP AND COSTUMES
Make Up: Roy Ashton
Hair: Frieda Steiger
Wardrobe Supervisor: Molly Arbuthnot
Wardrobe Mistress: Rosemary Burrows

DESIGN AND SET CONSTRUCTION
Production Designer: Bernard Robinson
Art Director: Don Mingaye

MISCELLANEOUS
Continuity: Tilly Day

LOCATIONS
Locations: Bray Studios, Berkshire, England, UK

CAST
Herbert Lom (The Phantom / Professor Petrie)
Heather Sears (Christine)
Thorley Walters (Lattimer)
Edward De Souza (Harry)
Michael Gough (Lord Ambrose D'Arcy)
Martin Miller (Rossi)
Miriam Karlin (charwoman)
Marne Maitland (Xavier)
Harold Goodwin (Bill)
John Harvey (Sergeant Vickers)
Liane Aukin (Maria)
Sonya Cordeau (Yvonne)
Patrick Troughton (ratcatcher)
Renee Houston (Mrs Tucker)
Keith Pyott (Weaver)
Michael Ripper (longfaced cabby)
Miles Malleson (2nd cabby)
Ian Wilson (the dwarf)
Leila Forde (Teresa)
Geoffrey L'Oise (Frenchman - uncredited)
Liam Redmond (uncredited)

PLOT SUMMARY

Lord Ambrose D’Arcy steals the work of struggling music Professor Petry. A distraught Petry breaks into a printers office hoping to destroy the work so that D'Arcy can't go ahead with his plans to print the work and pass it off as his own, but accidentally starts a fire leaving him horribly disfigured. Many years later, one of his stolen pieces of work, an opera, is about to be staged at a London opera house - and something monstrous is lurking in the wings...

CAPSULE REVIEW

Despite looking as ravishing as ever, Phantom of the Opera is a disappointing Hammer film. Hinds' script is its major liability, botching most of the story's big set pieces and overdoing the attempts to play the Phantom as a figure of sympathy. Hammer saw this as a prestige production and curiously played down the horror - consequently, the traditional Hammer style was lacking (even the Phantom's disfigurement make up was lacklustre and inoffensive) and their growing fan base were not amused. Fisher's cameras wander through the beautiful sets as gracefully as ever, but he was defeated by a script that tries to be all things to all men - and fails.

AVAILABILITY

UK
Theatrical Distributor: Universal Pictures
Video Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment (VHR1332)

USA
Theatrical Distributor: Universal-International Pictures
Laserdisc Distributor: MCA Home Video (42439- on double bill with Paranoiac (1963))

CENSORSHIP HISTORY

Finland
Rating: K-16

Sweden
Rating: 15

UK
Rating: X (1962 - with unspecified cuts); PG (1987 - with unspecified cuts)

USA
Rating: unrated

TIMELINE

1962
April

19: UK - rated A by the BBFC (for theatrical release)

June
25: UK - theatrical release (on a double bill with Captain Clegg (1962))

August
15: USA - theatrical release

November
30: West Germany - theatrical release

December
7: Finland - theatrical release

1963
February

25: Denmark - theatrical release

April
22: Sweden - theatrical release

1985
February

8: UK - television broadcast (on BBC2)

1987
November

9: UK - rated PG by the BBFC (for video release)

1995
July

18: USA - laserdisc release (MCA Home Video (42439))

1996
September

23: UK - video deleted (Paramount Home Entertainment (VHR1332))

2001
December

14: USA - television broadcast (on AMC)

POSTER TAGS

The Greatest THRILL CLASSIC of All Time!

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

El fantasma de la ópera - Spanish title
Il fantasma dell'opera - Italian title
Das Rätsel der unheimlichen Maske - German title
Suuren oopperan kummitus - Finnish title

LINKS

SEE ALSO
Il fantasma dell'opera (1998)
Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Phantom of the Opera (2002)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Phantom of the Opera (1983)
The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
The Phantom of the Opera (1990a)
The Phantom of the Opera (1990b)
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

REFERENCES

MAGAZINES

Cinemonde no.1469 (2 October 1962) p.10 (France)
review

Daily Cinema no.8619 (4 June 1962) p.6 (UK)
review

Dark Terrors no.17 (2000) pp.20-29 (UK)
illustrated credits, article

Fangoria no.147 (October 1995) p.37 (USA)
illustrated review

Film Daily vol.120 no.116 (18 June 1962) p.6 (USA)
review

Hollywood Reporter vol.170 no.37 (14 June 1962) p.3 (USA)
review

The House That Hammer Built no.3 (June 1997) pp.170-174 (UK)
illustrated credits, synopsis, review

The House That Hammer Built no.10 (October 1998) pp.91-106 (UK)
illustrated article

Kine Weekly no.2852 (31 May 1962) p.90
review

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.29 no.342 (July 1962) p.94 (UK)
credits, synopsis, review

Motion Picture Herald vol.227 no.12 (27 June 1962) p.604 (USA)
credits

Motion Picture Herald vol.228 no.5 (5 September 1962) p.13 (USA)
review

KEYWORDS

opera; opera houses; opera singers; acid; disfigurement; organs; sewers; masks; book into film


Last Updated: 1 January, 2009

 


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