Monday, December 15, 2008

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - Edwin Astley - "Main Theme" (1962)

French journalist and detective story author extradordinaire Gaston Leroux wrote "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra" in 1910, and it has enjoyed many incarnations since then, starting with the Lon Chaney film version in 1925, followed by the Claude Rains version in 1943, and then remade again in 1963 with Herbert Lom in the lead role! We used to sit around and argue the merits of each film, since they are all classics, but then in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version rendered all the classics to an almost invisible state to all, except for people like all you fine folks reading this blog!! Personally, I'll stick with the classics, so without further adieu, here's the theme from the 1963 Hammer version, "The Phantom Of The Opera"!!! WHO guitarist Pete Townshend's father-in-law Edwin Astley is once again the guy to thank for the quality music!!

It's understood that Herbert Lom as The Phantom, Director Terrence Fisher, and the whole film was not that much appreciated by Hammer Studios!

Besides The Phantom, the three other main characters were Heather Sears as Christine Charles, Michael Gough as Lord Ambrose d'Arcy and Edward de Souza as Harry Hunter! You didn't often see Michael with cool sideburns like that!!

Man, this is just a great shot with that cool painted backdrop that looks like some fantastic golf course, and her shadow on the back of that canvas!!

Looks like that crazy cat in the middle has got fire blowing out of the top of his hat!! Nice effect!!!

Wow!!! I'm just glad this version wasn't a musical!!!

That's all folks!! Netflix doesn't pay me, but I don't mind telling you they got this great flick available if yer up for something classy for a change!! Let's just hope Gaston's family is doing quite well!!!


Greg Goodsell said...

Some disdain this version of Gaston LeRoux's classic. I think Herbert Lom is just fine ---

iain said...

But the 'Opera' scenes are just awful and Heather Sears was - ahem - let's say lackluster.

Aged parent said...

I'm afraid I will have to disagree with iain. The opera scenes were quite beautiful, most especially the aria (used also as the love theme in the rest of the film). It was an extraordinary achievement by composer Edwin Astley who, having no operatic background, was able to create such fine music. The Sadlers Wells people helped in the staging of the opera scenes for the film.

And Heather Sears was not only lovely, but turned in an exceptionally fine performance. Perhaps some viewers today would prefer the ludicrous macho females so hilariously depicted in contemporary films, but not those who can appreciate a female performance exuding such femininity and inner strength as that given by Miss Sears.

A fine, underrated film overall.

EEGAH!! said...

Thanks Aged Parent! I love the fact that three comments are stretched out over 8 years! Thanks for digging through the archives!!

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