Aug 162020

The Phantom of the Opera is an entertaining enough adaptation thanks to a heartfelt performance from Herbert Lom. The Blu-ray release from Shout Factory has a good selection of bonus features and high-quality video/audio transfers.



The Phantom of the Opera
— Collector’s Edition —

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Shout Factory | NR – 85 min. – $29.99 | August 11, 2020

Date Published: 08/16/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Terence Fisher
Writer(s): Gaston Leroux (play); John Elder (screenplay)
Cast: Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward De Souza, Thorley Walters, Michael Gough

Features: Commentaries, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.66 & 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.42 GB
Total Bitrate: 30.87 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Mysterious mishaps bedevil a London opera house, but when tragedy strikes during an opening night performance, it’s clear that these “accidents” are the deliberate work of a deranged madman – The Phantom (HERBERT LOM). When Christina (HEATHER SEARS), the young star of a new musical is contacted by the shadowy specter, her producer (EDWARD DE SOUZA) investigates, tracking the ghostly Phantom to his secret underground lair.

Quick Hit Review: I won’t pretend to have an over familiarity to the classic stage play or the various adaptations other than knowing the notable music, particularly its theme. This version of The Phantom of the Opera, from what I understand after listening to the commentaries in this very release, has a less romantic angle compared with others. But having not watched them, doesn’t seem like I had the same disappointment as the audiences did back when this was released in 1962, and was a bit of a flop for Universal and Hammer Films.

Personally, found the movie to be relatively entertaining, performances were solid enough if unremarkable, although seeing Michael Gough, whom I’ve only really associated with playing Alfred in the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, playing a cold hearted bastard, was eye-opening. I did really like Hebert Lom as the titular “Phantom” and his heart-breaking back-story and transformation. In addition, Heather Sears for her part as the singer/damsel had some nice on-screen charisma for a thinly written character.

The Phantom of the Opera was helmed by Terence Fisher, a longtime director for Hammer Films, having worked on 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein, 1958’s Dracula, 1959’s The Mummy, The Curse of the Werewolf in 1961, which I recently watched and reviewed for Shout Factory’s Collector’s Edition release, and numerous other horror films throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s.



This “Collector’s Edition” release comes with a matted slip cover and the interior cover is reversible revealing the film’s original artwork.

Audio Commentary — Film Historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson. Nice track between the two who have previously recorded tracks for Shout and, if memory serves, other releases. The pair break down the production and the history behind it.

The Men Who Made Hammer: Anthony Hinds (27:44) — Newest entry into this series, this one profiling the producer behind many Hammer Films productions.

Phantom Triumphant: Edwin Astley and Hammer’s Horror Opera (15:47) — Featurette delves into the score behind this iteration of The Phantom of the Opera.

Herbert Lom: The Soul Behind the Mask (15:28) is a profile on the actor who portrayed the Phantom.

The Making of The Phantom of the Opera (31:01) is a 2014 featurette looking back at the Hammer version of the classic story and how it played back then and today. Hosted by Actor Edward De Souza.

Behind the Scenes of The Phantom of the Opera (3:08) is an interview with Brian Johnson who worked on the effects and tells stories of the production.

The Phantom of the Opera, 1.66 Version includes an optional Audio Commentary with Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr.

The Phantom of the Opera, TV Version (1:37:59) offers different scenes more “suitable” for television, though today it could be played uncut. The quality here is VHS level but still a nice inclusion.

Also included is the Theatrical Trailer (1:16) and an Image Gallery (4:12).


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Shout Factory releases The Phantom of the Opera onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. Given there’s no mention on the back cover, presumably the transfer was provided by Universal, which does look quite good all these years later. Detail is sharp and well defined and colors are vibrant and set against some of the darker shots, do have some nice pop to them. There were a couple minor specs here and there but otherwise this is a solid transfer.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The movie includes a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track which is more than serviceable. Dialogue comes through with good clarity, no apparent instances of pops or hisses, and there is some fine depth for ambient noises or with the music.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

The Phantom of the Opera is an entertaining enough adaptation thanks to a heartfelt performance from Herbert Lom. The Blu-ray release from Shout Factory has a good selection of bonus features and high-quality video/audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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