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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And when you sing, Christine, you will be singing only for me.
The Phantom of the Opera is out of Hammer Film Productions and directed by Terence Fisher. Based on the Gaston Leroux novel, the screenplay is written by John Elder and it stars Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward de Souza and Michael Gough. Filmed in Eastman Color, cinematography is by Arthur Grant and music by Edwin Astley.

The latest opera production of Joan...
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by Spike Owen

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initially underwhelming transfer but still perfectly watchable
Hammer horror blu-rays always seem to divide opinion. A significant number of releases now have attracted a wide range of responses from "unwatchable" to "Outstanding". This release itself is now causing significant controversy and ironically this time its not because of the aspect ratio or whether it is 1080i or 1080p. The casual viewer or less "techy" of Hammer fans...
Published 4 months ago by C. W. Howarth


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initially underwhelming transfer but still perfectly watchable, 24 July 2014
By 
C. W. Howarth "Lalala" (manchester Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
Hammer horror blu-rays always seem to divide opinion. A significant number of releases now have attracted a wide range of responses from "unwatchable" to "Outstanding". This release itself is now causing significant controversy and ironically this time its not because of the aspect ratio or whether it is 1080i or 1080p. The casual viewer or less "techy" of Hammer fans would perhaps not be as concerned so much with this, but rather whether it was decent PQ. So I will come at this release from that angle.....

Hammer's Phantom Of the Opera has not had the best history on home physical release with previous region 1 and 2 dvds looking a bit rough around the edges. Personally I was looking forward to this on Blu-ray and I had high hopes for a more colourful and sharper presentation as one would expect from a HD release at this stage. Is this that release? sadly no.
Initially my exact thoughts were Underwhelming and disappointing, and I still maintain that. The image is quite soft and not that well defined for HD and the colours remain dull (possibly down to the original cinematography, I don't know). There is some print damage, and some would argue higher levels of grain to one is accustomed to.
This all sound s negative, but you have to put this into perspective. The dvd was never that great and the negative or print must be in poorer shape now than it was a few years ago. I would assume a lot of money would have to be spent in order to restore this, and sadly I don't think that will ever happen.

All these things considering, It really isn't as bad as some are making out. On my second viewing I came to appreciate the Blu-ray more, because my expectations were adjusted. Its perfectly watchable and for those that owned the dvd prior I don't think its in any poorer state than that, if anything is a little more defined but only just. Would I recommend this to those that already own the dvd? probably not, but for first time buyers of this film then I cant see a reason why you shouldn't buy the Blu-ray. If you are a fan of hammer horror and haven't seen Phantom, then I would certainly recommend it, light on scares but is still one of Hammer's great gothics.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And when you sing, Christine, you will be singing only for me., 17 Oct 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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The Phantom of the Opera is out of Hammer Film Productions and directed by Terence Fisher. Based on the Gaston Leroux novel, the screenplay is written by John Elder and it stars Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward de Souza and Michael Gough. Filmed in Eastman Color, cinematography is by Arthur Grant and music by Edwin Astley.

The latest opera production of Joan of Arc is beset with problems, prompting many to believe it's the work of a mysterious phantom who haunts those involved with the show.

It has been the basis for a number of adaptations, the Leroux novel's core story proving to be fascinating enough to prompt writers, film makers and musical directors to produce their take on it. Of the film versions, it's still the Lon Chaney silent of 1925 that carries the highest horror value, but for style and substance I feel Hammer's version is the best of the bunch. Fisher's film is played wonderfully straight, the production is given much care and consideration, but in the main the makers let the story sell itself. The characters remain interesting and in the case of the phantom himself, he smartly gets a back story shown late in the day amid off-kilter camera angles. This really gives the film a dramatic thrust as it heads into the finale, where the pay off is exciting and emotionally tight (one of the finest tear sheds in cinema is right here).

A voice so wonderful that theatres all over the world will be filled with your admirers.

Cast wise the film is led superbly by Lom's performance as the sad and tragic phantom. Lom manages to elicit sympathy with minimal dialogue and pure body language, giving this phantom an irresistible vulnerability that hits home hard as the film closes down. Around him it's Gough who is having the most fun playing villain of the piece Ambrose D'Arcy, and he does it well. De Souza is adequate as love interest Harry Hunter, but Sears, whilst certainly pretty and a decent actress, lacks believability in the scenes shared with the phantom. Note worthy is a quality cameo that comes from Patrick Troughton; even if it does make us hanker for more of him in the picture.

Fisher's direction is tight and smooth, if lacking some of the camera flourishes that other Hammer films have benefited from. While Grant's Eastman Color photography adds a zest to the period flavouring by bringing the well designed sets to the fore. Astley's music is standard genre stuff, but easy listening for sure. Bonus is to hear Toccata and Fugue in D minor, it's now disputed as to if it actually was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, but regardless it's a haunting piece of organ music that has the power to induce chills down the old spinal cord area. Particularly when used location wise as it is here.

A lovely adaptation of the source, Hammer's version may not be as horror based as some would like, but it more than makes up for that with style, substance and a quality turn from the leading man. 8/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not without it's issues, but with reasons for them., 24 July 2014
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This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
Well, casting my own eye over the controversial Phantom of the Opera Blu-ray, I'm quite pleased personally. It's a good, well encoded disc from Final Cut in 24p with uncompressed PCM audio. It's certainly a serviceable transfer in 1.85:1 widescreen (not the expected 2.00:1 crop, so definitely a nice surprise) but has had no restoration. It's got more picture area than the R1 DVD and a better picture in my opinion as the DVD was also soft and grainy but in SD resolution. I can spot right away what some have referred to as a 3D without glasses look. I've no doubt this is colour separation back-ups that don't quite match up, this is the cause of the grain and softness. The original negative is unusable. Nothing can be done to improve this outside of a full scale restoration in the digital domain which would cost a fortune (this is a Universal owned title licenced by a third party, so more likely pigs will fly first). I've got my TV properly calibrated, and the grain is prevalent but not intrusive. It's a very course grain, which I can well imagine is the root cause of the extreme grain issues on those TVs with the sharpness set too high - the grain will be confusing the sharpness filters.

All considered, I'm happy with it. It gets 3 stars with all things considered, including the film. It has it's flaws, but it's an interesting take on the Phantom. Herbert Lom's version is more tragic than villain. It's certainly better than more modern reinterpretations, though not quite as good as the classic Lon Chaney and Claude Rains versions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended blu-ray with subtitles., 8 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
Hammer's remake of the classic tale benefits from the fine performance of brooding Herbert Lom as the phantom.The script is strong and there is an aura of mystery which effectively enshrouds this production. The blu-ray has a very good picture and sound quality in my opinion and there are English subtitles.
It's a pity that Amazon didn't list the subtitles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The commentary on the disc is very interesting gives a good in site as to where it was all made, 24 July 2014
By 
Mr. S. Scott - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
Having waited 52 years for this film it was worth the wait. Yes there are some grain effects on the blue ray but this does not spoil it in any way.
The commentary on the disc is very interesting gives a good in site as to where it was all made. I hope that the rest of the Hammer
series will be the same, price paid well worth it...
S.Scott..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is pure classic 60`s hammer horror as good as the 1st hammer horror titles- Dracula, 24 July 2014
This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
This is pure classic 60`s hammer horror as good as the 1st hammer horror titles- Dracula, curse of Frankenstein and the mummy!
A great horrific looking gothic phantom with some good British gore included too-well acted-great original soundtrack-full colour-highly recommended for hammer horror fans and the likes!
I didn`t get bored or nod off watching this-gripped me from the beginning to the end-grab this rarer, hardly seen classic hammer horror movie today! you won`t be disappointed!
This Blu-ray version also includes a cool making of docu too-also very interesting to watch.
Hammer Horror at it`s Best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return of an under-rated Hammer Film!, 26 July 2014
By 
Mr. Kenneth J. Hodges "kenvisions" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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'Final Cut' are to be congratulated for issuing this film and giving it a second lease of life. When it was first issued in 1962 my only reservation was that is was toned down because of the need to give it an 'A' certificate instead of an 'X', but despite this, it has proved to be a film that has stood the test of time.

Along with 'Shadow of the Cat' (also from 'Final Cut'), this is the first time this film has been released on DVD in the UK, and both releases are to be thoroughly welcomed. Any chance, of 'The Snorkel' another under-rated gem of a 'Hammer' film being released? Currently this is only available as part of a six 'Hammer Icons of Suspense' set from the States.

I note that some reviewers have moaned about the 'Blue Ray' disc not being very good. I can't comment on this since I bought the ordinary DVD which I found to be a very acceptable print. This film is 53 years old for God sake, and I am left feeling that some people don't make any allowances, and expect things to be as pristine as something that was made yesterday. To anyone seeking this film therefore, I would recommend buying it without any hesitation whatsoever. It's the best copy I have ever had, and far superior to any legit VHS copies or any bootleg DVD's that have been through my hands over the years!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Hammer Classic!, 18 Nov 2013
I've not seen every version of The Phantom of the Opera so I cannot pass judgment if Hammer's effort is indeed the best on offer. What I can say is that for 85 minutes I was entertained. In general I love Hammer films though there are still too many that promise much and pail off towards the end. Kiss of the Vampire and The Reptile as examples.
But I feel Phantom keeps you glued to the movie, even if you can guess what will happen at the finale.

The Phantom himself is played by the great Herbert Lom, who gives a stunning performance acting with one eye. His presence is felt and it is the subtle movements he makes that gives the film its menace. Michael Gough is also wonderful as the crooked and downright evil Ambrose D'Arcy. Thorley Walters is here too as is Heather Sears as the opera singer. Edward de Souza plays the producer- and he just about pulls off the role. There are some subtle comedy moments and this is a typically gothic entry from Hammer.

Watch out for a tasty gore scene and cameos from stalwarts like Peter Troughton and a very tiny one from the excellent Michael Ripper as the taxi man.

It seems that reviews for the film are mixed on here. I have no idea why, I thought this was a Hammer classic, and is well deserved of its 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars watching it now i understand why i was frightened but now really appreciate what a good film it is and what a good story it ..., 25 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
remember watching it as a very young boy and being very frightened, watching it now i understand why i was frightened but now really appreciate what a good film it is and what a good story it is. Enjoyed the extras on the DVD as well
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for Hammer Film fans only, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray (Blu-ray)
I cant go on about aspect ratios etc. as I'm not an expert, but for me IMO the picture quality is acceptable when you consider its a 50+ year old film, I bought the Blu-ray version on pre-order because it was actually cheaper than the DVD version. Yes there is visible graining on show BUT as I've already said this for me didn't ruin my viewing pleasure. (I do wonder sometimes what people expect of these old films that are transferred onto modern formats, most of the original film stock by now will have (if available) severely degraded and unless an absolute fortune is spent on a full restoration nothing can be done about it)
Now to the film itself Phantom is strangely a lesser seen film out of the Hammer stable, never gets put on compilation discs or best of collections either, which is a shame as the basic story line is very good, its probably because this film was panned by the critics when it originally came out in 1962 and its always compared to the earlier Universal releases, now if you consider the 1943 version also suffered in this way WHY because it too was always compared to the 1925 Silent original starring silent screen legend Lon Chaney (This 1925 film remember is one of the greatest silent movies(if not movie full stop) ever made).
It also suffered, probably, because it doesn't have any of the Main Hammer Stars in it.( Although IMO it is great to see Herbert Lom star in something other than the foil to Peter Sellers comedy in the Pink Panther films)
For me though the main problem with Hammers version is they build the story line up really well and then rush the ending off in about 5 minutes and this to me makes the whole thing seem disjointed and a big let down.

Lastly as nice aside this Final Cut edition comes with some nice extras including a very informative "Making of" feature.
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Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray
Phantom of the Opera (1962) Blu-Ray by Terence Fisher (Blu-ray - 2014)
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