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  #3781  
Old 11-11-2018, 03:09 AM
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The Old Dark House (1932)

Great fun, I loved it. 8/10.
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  #3782  
Old 11-11-2018, 06:58 PM
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The Phantom of the Opera ( 1943 )



7/10

Synopsis:A mysterious bout of violent and unexplained accidents plague the Paris Opera House, which are blamed on the specter reported to haunt box 5. All the while a young and talented soprano benefits, not only from this string of misfortunes, but flourishes under the tutalege of a mysterious benefactor that (in reality) is the very same monster responsible for these deeds. The Phantom.

Speaking of Claude Rains, this was the first time I recall seeing him in a film, and it really showcases his prowess. First and foremost, he is great as this version of the Phantom. He has the right mix of elegance and intensity, as well as being able to switch gears and be sympathetic or relatable, all of which are required to play the role. Perfectly cast, and is my second favorite performance in his career ( second only to his turn as Jack Griffin in the Invisible Man ). As for the supporting cast, Susanna Foster does a great job in the role of Christine ( the object of the Phantomís twisted affection ), while her suitors Raoul and Anatole ( played by Edgar Barrier and Nelson Eddy, respectively ) have a great back and forth in their rivalry, and manage to both be likable and a decent subplot ( think Quincy Morris and Arthur Holmwood from Dracula ). The sets are stunning, lavish, and in technicolor. The Paris Opera House is as much of a character in this story as any of its inhabitants, and it manages to be both captivating in its bright colors and posh decorations, but also foreboding with itís tenebrous shadows and labyrinthine catacombs. The score is very well done and definitely fits with the overall story, thought it does somewhat interfere with scenes here and there.

I only have one issue with this version, but itís a rather major complaint.
First and foremost, this is only LOOSELY based on Gaston Lerouxís original novel, and is much further removed from it than the classic Lon Chaney version from 1925. The narrative now concerns a down on his luck violinist, Erique Claudin, who snaps and kills a publisher he believes has stolen his music. Instead of being a recluse who was born disfigured that has the voice of an angel, Claudin is disfigured by acid after the attack and takes to the sewers to flee police pursuit, stealing a mask and taking up residence under the opera house, continuing to support Christine. This narrative departure would carry more weight, if we didnít view it in chronological order with the rest of the film. We already know Claudin is the Phantom, and we know how this came to be before the meat of the story even begins. This serves to demystify him, thus stripping away a huge portion of what makes the character of the Phantom so interesting. This also makes him less intimidating and scary, which ( again ) detracts from the overall screen presence and impact he has on the audience. In every version, the constants have been his love of Christine and of music, but also ( and arguably more importantly ) his motivations behind his misdeeds and the events that twisted him into the monster he has become. These are what makes for a compelling story. Take those parts out, and all you have is the tragic romance which, while itís certainly a major theme, has nothing to do with the larger overall structure and point, which is that this is a horror story.

That being said, this version of the story became quite popular and more than a few iterations have adopted it in favor of the original. Itís a competent take on the classic story, and definitely worth a watch if youíre a fan of it, classic horror, and that gothic Hammer look/feel.

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What did you think of Verhoevenís Hollow Man? That was with Kevin Bacon, I believe.
Lemme rewatch it, and Iíll tell ya in the Latest Movies thread
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  #3783  
Old 11-12-2018, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Oro13 View Post


7/10

Synopsis:A mysterious bout of violent and unexplained accidents plague the Paris Opera House, which are blamed on the specter reported to haunt box 5. All the while a young and talented soprano benefits, not only from this string of misfortunes, but flourishes under the tutalege of a mysterious benefactor that (in reality) is the very same monster responsible for these deeds. The Phantom.

Speaking of Claude Rains, this was the first time I recall seeing him in a film, and it really showcases his prowess. First and foremost, he is great as this version of the Phantom. He has the right mix of elegance and intensity, as well as being able to switch gears and be sympathetic or relatable, all of which are required to play the role. Perfectly cast, and is my second favorite performance in his career ( second only to his turn as Jack Griffin in the Invisible Man ). As for the supporting cast, Susanna Foster does a great job in the role of Christine ( the object of the Phantomís twisted affection ), while her suitors Raoul and Anatole ( played by Edgar Barrier and Nelson Eddy, respectively ) have a great back and forth in their rivalry, and manage to both be likable and a decent subplot ( think Quincy Morris and Arthur Holmwood from Dracula ). The sets are stunning, lavish, and in technicolor. The Paris Opera House is as much of a character in this story as any of its inhabitants, and it manages to be both captivating in its bright colors and posh decorations, but also foreboding with itís tenebrous shadows and labyrinthine catacombs. The score is very well done and definitely fits with the overall story, thought it does somewhat interfere with scenes here and there.

I only have one issue with this version, but itís a rather major complaint.
First and foremost, this is only LOOSELY based on Gaston Lerouxís original novel, and is much further removed from it than the classic Lon Chaney version from 1925. The narrative now concerns a down on his luck violinist, Erique Claudin, who snaps and kills a publisher he believes has stolen his music. Instead of being a recluse who was born disfigured that has the voice of an angel, Claudin is disfigured by acid after the attack and takes to the sewers to flee police pursuit, stealing a mask and taking up residence under the opera house, continuing to support Christine. This narrative departure would carry more weight, if we didnít view it in chronological order with the rest of the film. We already know Claudin is the Phantom, and we know how this came to be before the meat of the story even begins. This serves to demystify him, thus stripping away a huge portion of what makes the character of the Phantom so interesting. This also makes him less intimidating and scary, which ( again ) detracts from the overall screen presence and impact he has on the audience. In every version, the constants have been his love of Christine and of music, but also ( and arguably more importantly ) his motivations behind his misdeeds and the events that twisted him into the monster he has become. These are what makes for a compelling story. Take those parts out, and all you have is the tragic romance which, while itís certainly a major theme, has nothing to do with the larger overall structure and point, which is that this is a horror story.

That being said, this version of the story became quite popular and more than a few iterations have adopted it in favor of the original. Itís a competent take on the classic story, and definitely worth a watch if youíre a fan of it, classic horror, and that gothic Hammer look/feel.



Lemme rewatch it, and Iíll tell ya in the Latest Movies thread
Interesting take. I haven't seen this film yet, but it's on my list. I did a radio show on mock-Susanna Foster (because my co-host didn't want to use her name). I really found her life story really interesting -- being recruited by a "Hollywood agent" while she lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and went to CA by herself, at age 12, to be trained by MGM to be a singer/actress in film. That is really weird. Two of her classmates at this school were Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Foster had an amazing voice. I look forward to seeing the film.
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  #3784  
Old Yesterday, 08:30 AM
idoneus1957 idoneus1957 is offline
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Bride of Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein was on tv. I've seen it a million times, but I tuned in. I was lucky enough to catch the bit where Dr. Pretorius first shows up at Dr. Frankenstein's house. What a performance!
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  #3785  
Old Yesterday, 08:32 AM
idoneus1957 idoneus1957 is offline
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versions of the Phantom

They showed the Herbert Lom version the other day, and I briefly thought that I really ought to see it, because Herbert Lom died in 2017.
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  #3786  
Old Yesterday, 10:03 AM
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They showed the Herbert Lom version the other day, and I briefly thought that I really ought to see it, because Herbert Lom died in 2017.
Herbert Lom died on September 27, 2012
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