Thursday, August 24, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Phantom Of The Opera (1962)

A few thoughts: What will instantly stand out to someone watching this movie is the beautiful set design. Hammer always utilized wonderfully constructed sets, but this is definitely among their best ever in that department. The Phantom Of The Opera is a story that allows for a lot of room in its adaptations, and while this isn't the most creative, outside of the 1925 silent version, this is probably my favorite. I like the way they allow the Phantom to be a fully developed character while also shrouding him in mystery for a good portion of the movie. It builds the suspense and doesn't spell everything out for you until you eventually discover who the real monster is. Michael Gough is a standout, playing his truly malicious character with a wonderful sliminess. Cushing and Lee being absent from this project is all the easier to swallow due to this performance. Maybe not the best film Terence Fisher ever made, but it looks great, has a fantastic build-up, and is easily among the best adaptations of the story I've seen.

Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who can appreciate a '60s horror movie that focuses more on atmosphere and character development than on being scary.

My grade: B

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