Saturday, October 20, 2012

Octoberama! Phantom of the Opera - Masque of the Red Death

Over the years, it was somehow mostly forgotten that at one point, a lot of early movies were tinted for color.  The film might be shot in black and white, but the prints themselves would be processed with a tint to have color that evoked the mood, etc...  However, by 1925 there was already a two-color process, and that's what you're seeing here.

The Lon Chaney starring Phantom of the Opera (1925) is a beautiful movie if you've never seen it.  At least some of the prints feature color, and the Masque of the Red Death sequence, even without color, was always powerful stuff.  With color - I think it's amazing.

At this point in the film, the Phantom has been causing problems (including deaths) but has been unseen.  Here he strides into the middle of a party of the wealthiest in Paris and threatens them all from behind the skeleton mask of Death.

Here it is - silent. You can provide your own music in your own head.

You can see the color better here, but I forewarn you, its synched to the music of the Broadway musical of the same name.

In the first movie and the book, unlike the musical, The Phantom is a spooky bad-ass. So if all you know if Andrew Lloyd-Webber, I recommend looking up the 1925 film.

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