Today we are at the letter P so head on over to the A To Z Challenge and find out what everyone else is talking about. I'm excited about this letter because I will be seeing this film, with the help of Chorus Niagara, in May!
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1925
DIRECTOR: Rupert Julian and Lon Chaney(Uncredited)
STARS: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
OSCAR NOMS: Oscars were not around yet
OSCAR WINS: See Above
PLOT: A beautiful singer, being secretly trained by someone she has heard but never met, gets her chance at the Paris Opera House. When she falls for the lead, the Phantom, who trained her, abducts her to his underground lair beneath the Opera House. She is told by the phantom to never take his mask off...you know she will not behave.
LOVE: The Masquerade Ball
TRIVIA: Rupert Julian was not well liked and was not doing a great job. Lon Chaney hated him and they often had rows. Think Murder She Wrote where the director is a nasty buffoon who winds up dead and you have many suspects. No worries, Rupert didn't die. As for Lon Chaney, his make-up for this and many other roles, were quite painful but he wanted the effect that was described in the book. For example, he put wire inserts into his nose to widen them and some fish-skin to pull his nose back.
MARY PHILBIN-July 16, 1902-May 7, 1993
OSCAR NOMS: Nil
ANECDOTE: She was a sweet, shy person who took more after her father than her domineering mother. Mary was very, very close to her parents and ceded to their wishes. She fell in love with Paul Kohner, who was an executive at the studio and was also Jewish. Her parents were horrified but met with him, but things did not go well and the parents told her that if she went with Paul, she would be disowned. Their one fear was that he would try to convert her to Judaism even though Paul stated he would not. Unfortunately, Mary gave back the engagement ring and never married. She took care of her parents, rarely venturing out, until the parents passed away. She did come out when there was a memorial for Rudolph Valentino in the 1980's and for the LA Premier of the musical, Phantom of the Opera. When she heard Paul passed away and that workers found her love letters in a drawer close to him, she was devastated. She also kept the love letters he wrote to her.