The Phantom of Opera (1962)
the phantom | the phantom of the opera | remake | terence fisher | anthony hinds | herbert lom | heather sears | edward de souza | drama | music | mystery | thriller | united kingdom | michael gough | ian wilson | thorley walters | harold goodwin | martin miller
Film: The Phantom of the Opera
Director: Terence Fisher
Writer: Anthony Hinds
Starring: Herbert Lom, Heather Sears and Edward de Souza
This is Hammer Studios taking on the story of The Phantom of the Opera. The great Terence Fisher, who directed a lot of their films, took on the task of this film. The official synopsis is terror strikes the London Opera House as a new opera is disrupted by the actions of a deformed spector of the show’s past who has an obsession with one of the production’s chorus girl.
I have seen a few different version of this story upon seeing this one. This take on the story is that The Phantom (Herbert Lom) has been badly disfigured when he was trying to keep Lord Ambrose d’Arcy (Michael Gough) from taking credit for something he didn’t do. He is not a monster though. His injury has made him bitter and he has done some bad things. What I like that this version makes the man who saved him, The Dwarf (Ian Wilson), the true monster. The thing is though is that he seems to not know right from wrong and actually just acts on impulse, which to me makes it a tragic character as well.
Going from there, the film is really well acted. Heather Sears as the woman The Phantom falls for, Christine Charles, and Edward de Souza as Harry Hunter, the man she falls for, were casted perfectly. Other than that, there aren’t a lot of new things added to this version from previous ones.
With that said, this film does have its issues. I felt the film was a little bit boring personally. The film becomes too much of solve the mystery of who The Phantom is and the problem with it is that I solved it during this sequence early on. It lost its surprise for me. I feel if you are going to go this route to not give all of the information that quickly so the viewer is left in suspense and have mystery there. The Dwarf character was also odd to me as well. I get that they have him kill The Rat Catcher (Patrick Troughton) just to show that he cannot control himself, so that foreshadows the ending. I just think it is weird that is how the film ends by tragically ending The Phantom, after he has just been redeem to us as we see why he is what he is and how he became it.
Now with that said, this is a decent version of The Phantom of the Opera. It comes from the 1960s Hammer Productions. They were known for remaking the great Universal Monster films to an updated version. This one features a little bit of blood, but not as much as many of their other films in the era did. I felt the acting was good and the story is what you expect if you know the story behind it. It doesn’t really give us anything new to this tale from previous editions. Not the best version of the film, but if you like the story or want to see all of the versions, I would recommend giving this one a viewing then. I still think it is an above average film.
My Rating: 6 out of 10