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4.2 out of 5 stars57
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 23 April 2014
As Amazon still persists in mixing reviews up with wrong editions, this review is for the BFI edition. I received this DVD after one day of ordering, what a result!
Watching it, however, I can't help comparing it with the still definitive 'Milestone' Phantom disc set, as this BFI set succeeds and fails in equal proportions. I bought this mainly for the apparently only surviving reel (part 5) of the 'lost' 1929 sound release, in which the principle actors (minus Lon Chaney, as he was now working for MGM) were bought back four years later to fill out the feature so that a part talkie could be released.The section of the film this concerns is following the fall of the chandelier with Mary Philbin, looking slightly older, (it's 1929!) back in her dressing room.This alone was worth it for me. So the programme goes--
Disc 1. The Photoplay blu-ray version of the 1929 re release (silent) version-- fine, though the grain seemed now a little more apparent in HD, and the original 1925 release, as good as can be expected, considering the worn out 16mm origin. Also sound and silent trailers and Part 5 of the sound re release, plus the 'Man with the lantern' sequence, without any explanation.
Disc 2. The same things in standard DVD.
Disc 3. Documentary; Lon Chaney: A thousand faces.
What's missing for me is what's only in the 'Milestone' boxset---The excellent Scott MacQueen commentary on the Photoplay 1929 silent re release, and the wonderfully atmospheric organ score by Jon Mirsalis in the 1925 version. This BFI set had an adequate piano accompaniment in my opinion.
What a bonus if they could find the complete 1929 sound release print!
All in all? If you've got the Milestone edition, you've got this and more, (including trailers). If you want a tantalising glimpse of the 1929 sound release, however, you'll have to cough up for this one.
An excellent addition in this set is a booklet explaining it all.
22 comments|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 November 2013
first off this is for the BFI 3 disc 2013 version of the original 1925 print, Amazon got it wrong for a start its the original 1925 version, (black & white, 103 mins the rest of this review is from the BFI page *BFI Video proudly presents this definitive three-disc Dual Format Edition of this celebrated classic of silent film and horror cinema.
Directed by Rupert Julian, this lavish 1925 production launched the Hollywood Gothic style - which would become the trademark of Universal horror films.
Original prints of the film were fully tinted, with some sequences in Technicolor, and a rooftop scene using a special process that enabled the Phantom's cloak to show red against the blue night sky. This Photo play restoration carefully re-instates all these effects, and is accompanied by Carl Davis' celebrated score which draws heavily on Gounod's Faust, which is the opera being performed in the film.
* Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
* The original 1925 version, (black & white, 103 mins): with newly commissioned piano accompaniment by Ed Bussey
* Original 1925 trailer and 1929 sound re-issue trailer
* Reel 5 from lost 1929 sound re-issue (12 mins): the only surviving element, newly discovered in the Library of Congress archives.
* The 'man with a lantern' sequence: mysterious footage thought to have been shot for non-English speaking territories
* Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000, Kevin Brownlow, 86 mins, DVD only): Kevin Brownlow's definitive documentary on the legendary actor.
* Channel 4 Silents restoration souvenir programme (PDF)
* Fully illustrated booklet featuring new essays, review and film credits
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on 12 December 2003
Along with Nosferatu this is the best horror film of the silent era. The film on this DVD has been produced by David Sheppard and has really good picture quality and quite a nice score. At the moment this is the best edition of the film availble in the UK. There is also a trailer of the films 1929 rerelease and an interesting 12 minute audio essay.
So why not five stars?.
Firstly I have deducted a star because there is an even better restoration of this film which could have been put on the DVD (By Photoplay Productions with a score by Carl Davis).
I am deducting another star because this is the 1929 re-issue with about twenty minutes of footage missing. The reason for this is that the re-issue version is the only one existing with superior picture quality. However on the American Milestone editon of this film both versions appear in the same set, so you are able to compare them. (You can choose between poor picture quality or scenes cut from the film).
This is still a worthwhile DVD to add to your collection, at least until some else releases a better region 2 edition.
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on 20 December 2011
Having had the old Eureka version for many years, which I always thought was good, I was a bit apprehensive about spending the money on the Blu Ray. After all this is a silent film from 1929 and I would not have thought it could be improved that much. But I was wrong. Yes, the film elements show their age but the definition and clarity is superb. The technicolor sequences hand recreated look good. Not sure what the other reviewer felt was wrong with three versions of the film and numerous scores but I am more than pleased. Lovely packaging and superb content.
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on 6 October 2013
This Blu Ray has not even been released, but it has 29 reviews! When will Amazon decide to place the correct review with the correct product. Again and again I find this. Other websites like have got this sorted. It is misrepresentation of a product and very misleading. Amazon please get this sorted. Thank you.

I have put 4 stars as I know with out a doubt this will be an excellent BFI release.
33 comments|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 January 2014
I had already bought the American blu-ray edition of the silent Phantom of the Opera, and was impressed by it. But the BFI edition is a BIG improvement on the American release. The 1929 version of the film is presented in the correct speed transferred to 24fps, with a glorious orchestral score by Carl Davis. Also, the 1925 version is presented on this disc in HD, and there is an extremely interesting booklet. Buy this edition, and you will have obtained the ultimate version of this film. I doubt it will be surpassed in the near future. I thoroughly enjoyed watching both the 1925 and the 1929 versions.
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on 20 September 2012
I spent several hours moving back and forth between the Blu-ray
edition and the Milestone DVD Ultimate edition (2003).
The picture clarity and the quality of the tinting
is very much improved in the Blu-ray version-the Bal Masque sequence is stunning!
However, why is the Blu-ray version presented in a 1.2:1 format,
while, according to IMDb, the film was shot in 1.33:1 ?
The extras in the Blu-ray version pale in comparison to those in the
Milestone edition. And you need a computer in order to view the
original script and the souvenir program, as they are in a pdf form!
33 comments|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 January 2014
if you have never seen a major silent film, I would urge you to do so! This is my 3rd major "epic", the other 2 being The Ten Commandments (1923) and Ben Hur (1925). The latter being superb! I actually enjoyed it more than the 1957 version. However, back to the POTO. The restored version is superb and as I havent yet bought a Blu ray Player I cannot comment on that version. if it's anywhere near the restored version it will be superb. 2 problems however marred this purchase. The first is that the reviews on this film tend to cover ALL versions available, so one cannot make a judgement on what to buy. One other reviewer made the same comment. Come on Amazon, you are a very well know and wealthy company. I'm sure you would are more than able to seperate the versions so buyers could make the right judgement. Some of the comments have referred to some versions having behind the scenes documentaries etc. There is none on this version. The second complaint is that there is supposed to be some extras on the DVD that can only be accesed on your PC. I have tried but cannot access it! Even with these problems it is still a fantastic viewing experience. But come on Amazon sort this review problem out!
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on 20 April 2008
The music in the Cleopatra edition is pop music that is inappropriate and has very little to do with the film itself. I watched the whole thing in mute because I found the music was preventing me from enjoying film.

The Special Collector's edition has a very good soundtrack by Gabriel Thibaudeau; it also includes some of the music of the opera Faust (for the scenes where Christine is performing). I just watched that version and enjoyed the film much more.

Update on my review above:
Another reviewer (M. D. Hart) made the same complaint about the music. He's also referring to the Cleopatra Edition.

I wish Amazon would allow users to give reviews for different prints/releases of the same film. I tried to write another review specifically for the Special Collector's Edition in order to give it 5 stars, but I wasn't allowed to because I'd already written this review. So I'll just say it here: Special Collector's Edition 5 Stars.
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on 3 March 2010
This is easily one of the most a visually impressive silent films I have ever watched. From the lavish sets and extraordinary costumes to the magnificent score and eerie lighting. Everything is truly remarkable for a film of its age. And in the middle of the dark corners and creepy shadows is a truly frightening and unforgettable colour sequence. When the Phantom ascends the staircase at the masked ball, dressed as the Red Death. This scene will stay with me forever. Lon Chaney Sr. Performance as Erik is easily one of his best. His famous Phantom make-up is still frightening today. Even if you are not a fan of or have never watched a silent movie. I highly recommend you give this ago. You will not be disappointed.
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