Phantom of the Opera (1943)

08/17/2018 07:30

Film: Phantom of the Opera

Year: 1943

Director: Arthur Lubin

Writer: Eric Taylor and Samuel Hoffenstein

Starring: Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster and Claude Rains




The Phantom of the Opera is an interesting tale that after see one of the versions I decided to check out the rest of them. The official synopsis for this film is a disfigured violinist haunts the Paris Opera House.


This is the fourth version I’ve seen of this story and I found this interesting that it used the same set as the 1925 version; this one is just in color. I found the cast to be pretty good across the board. I liked that Claude Rains plays the Phantom for this version as he does have arrogance about him. His character’s name is Erique Claudin. I like that the take on this film is that Erique and Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) are from the same area and know the same lullaby. This is what connects them. I got the impression that Erique was paying for her classes, but it would be weird if she didn’t know that. She tells Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier) that she really had no idea who he was. I also do feel bad for Erique as how rude Pleyel (Miles Mander) was to him. With all the pressure in his life, I could see him strangling him like he did in the heat of the moment.


I did have some issues with this version, with the first issue being that they focused a little bit too much on the opera scenes. I understand that it is an important aspect of the film, but I wanted much more of the Phantom doing things behind the scenes than what we got. I feel that we didn’t get enough of Rains in this role for me. I also didn’t like that when he took the mask off, only the right side of his face was burned and they weren’t even that bad. Also I feel that he burns come down almost to his chin, meaning that the mask he was wearing would not have covered it. This version had issues keeping my attention, because I wanted more character development and Phantom.



Now with the time period that it came out, there really isn’t much in the way of effects. To be honest, it really didn’t call for a lot so that really isn’t a negative. I will give the film credit for the score though. It really isn’t music that I’m into for the most part, but it was good in keeping up the concept of the opera aspect of the film.


Despite how I feel, this is a good version of this tale. I think that the acting was pretty good, especially Rains. Now the problem there is I don’t feel that we got enough of him. I like how Rains became the Phantom, but I feel that this film focused too much on the opera scenes and not enough on him. This was a tad boring to me in that respect. I would still recommend seeing this one though, especially if you are a fan of the story. Keep in mind that this film is from 1943 as well, but it is in color. I did find it to be an above average film.


My Rating: 6 out of 10