version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA starring Lon Chaney has
a rather complicated history. In addition to changes made
after the film was first previewed (which included a new ending)
the film was later re-edited for a partial sound release.
The version most commonly seen today is a silent edition of
the one released to theaters in 1929 with music, sound effects
and some new footage added. Ironically, in this version the
Phantom's unmasking - one of the most famous scenes in silent
screen history - is not the same one originally seen by startled
audiences in 1925, but an alternative take. Why
Universal used different footage of the scene for the reissue
edition is not known for sure. Here, using frames from both
versions side by side, is a rare opportunity to see two separate
enactments of a famous moment in horror film history.