Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera

For some reason I have always been fascinated by this character, as portrayed by Lon Chaney. I recall as a young adult getting a super 8mm copy of this film from the library, and it had the hand tinted Masque of the Red Death scene!! I watched it over and over in my basement.

When my oldest daughter was 14 she and I attended an outdoor ampitheater which showed the film accompanied by a live orchestra! It was quite thrilling. She had never seen the movie before, and I really didn't know what she would think of it. When it ended and we were making our way back to the car, she looked at me and said "Dad, I feel kinda sorry for the Phantom." She got it!! Even though the man is a murderer, Chaney's portrayal elicited much sympathy for the character. You felt like he was driven by madness, and all he wanted was to be loved.

I wish I had a larger scan of this painting. It is one of my favorite shots of the Phantom, but the original photo is a bit blurry. I was pleased with how it turned out, and will probably take another shot at it in the future. This was one of six monster paintings in a series where I painted one a week for six weeks.


  1. "it had the hand tinted Masque of the Red Death scene"

    Actually, Mike, that scene was not hand-tinted; it was early Technicolor (though some original '25 prints DID have the cape hand-stenciled red in the rooftop scenes.)

    What you saw back then in S-8 was likely a Blackhawk Print - probably the same one cycled through MY Ohio library!


  2. Thanks for the clarification, Craig.