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In Gaston Leroux's novel a half-crazed, disfigured musician living in the labyrinthine cellars of the Paris Opera house creates a series of strange and mysterious events to further the career of a beautiful young singer. The tale is widely regarded as one of the most famous of all horror stories, yet that fame is based primarily on various film and stage versions. (From the  Kennebec large print jacket blurb.)

Leroux' story is better described as a romantic mystery.

I saw Hollywood’s 1943 horror flic ("Ugh!") in which a character throws acid on a composer's face.

Maybe eight years ago I saw on PBS the 2004 release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 stage musical and liked it enough to purchase the DVD.

In 2015 in a public library I found the 2011 DVD of the Royal Albert Hall 25th Anniversary performance. I viewed it and liked it much more than I did the 2004 DVD. It inspired me to read the novel, which Webber's musicals follow.

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Replies to This Discussion

Several takes on the Phantom story

1. In Gaston Leroux's time he and Edgar Allan Poe were regarded as similarly-skilled mystery writers

2. Trust Hollywood to alter stories to appeal to American audiences. For instance, the English Wicker Man movie opened with a police office motoring up a river to a town. The American Wicker Man opened with a highway truck explosion. In 1925 and again in 1943, Hollywood made Leroux's Phantom mystery-romance a horror story.

3. Re the actors in the two Webber-version movies. I googled "Emmy Rossum vs. Sierra Boggess" and then "Gerard Butler vs. Ramin Karimloo" and found Boggess (2011) and Butler (2004) better liked.

4. Webber took the Phantom story to a musical denouement in his sequel Love Never Dies.

I have't read the book but watched Weber's musical and loved it. 

I saw the 1943 movie. Sorry didn't read the book, or see the other movies, or theater productions.

As a love story it makes sence - a disfigured man with great tallent who is afraid to expose himself to the woman who admires him.

Thanks for pointing that out, Chris'; in the book's final pages Eric (the phantom) tells of Christine's tears mixing with his under his mask.

The true monsters, in Hollywood, omitted that and made two horror stories possible.

I thought the tears were well portrayed in the original film play.


If the audience jumps up and drops their popcorn containers to run out of the theater they may not have seen or felt the impact of the end of the movie because of the 'horror' aspect.


Putting this story into a monster movie doesn't make sense. In context it may be the result of WWI and WWII.


I like to see who is involved with the production and enjoy watching the credits at the end of a film I like, which doesn't happen very often.

Hollywood  seems to follow trends. Where is the creativity?  - it seems to be sequel after sequel even for terrible drive-in's, or 'Midnight Movies.' I saw an advertisement for a redo of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 

Marvel Comics and other sequels seem to be bright, shiny and shallow.


How shallow can they (Hollywood) become? I know there are good screenplay writers.
Classic conflicts transcend time and shouldn’t be rewritten as carbon copies. I've seen 'new' movies that are as bad or worse than the originals, if not simply carbon copies with different actors/actress' in color vs. B&W.


Lazy M/F's


"Phantom of the Opera" may be an example of remakes aren't as good, or are worse than the original. I don't know I only saw the '43 version. Of course movies are never as good as books.


Perhaps a foreign film maker would be able to carry it without turning it into a "Disney" film for parents to take their non-custodial children to.

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