Friday, March 18, 2011

Hammer unmasks the 'Phantom of the Opera'

The Phantom of the Opera (1962)
Starring: Edward DeSouza, Heather Sears, Herbert Lom, Thorley Walters, and Michael Gough
Director: Terence Fisher
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

As if Harry (DeSouza), a young director and producer of operas, didn't have enough problems dealing with the massive ego of the creator and backer of his latest show (Gough), and the backer's unsavory designs upon the young, virginal diva (Sears), the production is plagued with mysterious disasters. Harry soon uncover darks secrets surrounding the production, but will he manage to placate the Phantom of the Opera (Lom) before it is too late for all involved?!

The Hammer version of "The Phantom of the Opera" is the fastest moving, most-visually interesting adaptation of the tale that I've seen. The watery lair of the Phantom is very cool, Heather Sears is a hotty and she also plays nicely off Lom, and Michael Gough is the perfect upper-class slime and wanna-be musical genius who only acheives that status when he steals the life-work of another man. All in all, the cast here is great, and it's another Terrence Fisher-helmed movie that's absolutely gorgeous to behold.