The Phantom of the Opera
Lon Chaney, his face (as the film says) ”like leprous parchment,” acts prodigiously with his body, especially his expressive hands; gestures become character. This recently restored tinted version of The Phantom of the Opera, on video for the first time, includes a new and evocative musical score (though the opera arias are a mistake, since they go against the texture of silent film) and a stunning masked-ball sequence shot in Technicolor. But the main inducement to watch remains Chaney’s tragic, ineffably sad figure. ”Feast your eyes, glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!” he commands Mary Philbin, and shivers still crawl up spines.