1. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1943
This is an under-rated film and the least known of all the remakes but I really love this one and wish I could see it again. Claude Rains plays the Phantom who now has a back story...he is a composer and his work was stolen. He became disfigured and retreats to the underground but comes back to help the beautiful Christine since her voice has captivated the Phantom. It also captivates 2 other men who wish to have Christine all to their own. What will she do? I actually like how this ended since it was a bit ahead of its time (way to go Christine).
2. THE MASK OF ZORRO-1998
This is another film that has been remade and remade. We have the great Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power and George Hamilton playing this figure on film and there was a TV show also.. I went with this most recent outing since it is fun, adventurous and brought Catherine Zeta Jones to the masses...and to Michael Douglas, who saw her in this film and had to meet her. It begins where Zorro is captured by an evil man who takes Zorro's daughter to raise as his own. A couple of decades later, The man, much, much older, escapes prison when he finds out the evil man is returning with his now grown daughter. He meets up with a thief and starts training him to be the new Zorro. Zorro is for the man who wears a mask, saves the damsel and is heralded by the people. Antonio Banderas is great as Zorro and Anthony Hopkins plays the old Zorro really well. Entertaining movie for sure
3. THE DARK KNIGHT-2008
I think Christian Bale is the best Batman and this film, I think, is my favourite (love the first one with Liam Neeson too). We have masks everywhere in this film from Batman to the Joker wearing tons of cream make up to look the part of a psychopathic freak. You have a man that puts on a burlap bag to screw with the minds of people and have them go insane thinking there is an evil scarecrow. Lastly you have handsome Aaron Eckhart who becomes really disfigured and nasty since he becomes, literally, two-faced. Great action sequences, excellent performances that netted Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar and well written because it makes you think (If you were on that boat, would you push the button?).
I could have gone with Ironman, Spiderman, Capt. America..the list is long but those are my 3. Which would you choose?
Mask of Zorro - nice choice. As is The Dark Knight. There are a lot of superhero films that could qualify.ReplyDelete
V for Vendetta would be a good one.
V for Vendetta is a good film and I almost picked itDelete
Recently rewatched this Zorro and loved it still. We watched Practical Magic as the first of our October movies. Not a lot of masks in that film, but the Nicole Kidman character is briefly blindfolded.ReplyDelete
That is true and I think it works. A fun movie actuallyDelete
I was very young the first time I watched Claude Rains as the Phantom of the Opera. The phantom is a sympathetic character and the movie made a big impression on me. I have not seen your other two featured films. As an old schooler, I will always think of Guy Williams as the "real" Zorro, having watched every episode of his late 50s Disney TV series. I will always consider the late Adam West the "real" Batman. However, I love Anthony Hopkins movies. Having watched the trailer for The Mask Of Zorro, including a separate full length trailer on YouTube, I am sure I would enjoy this star studded adventure tale/love story laced with ribald humor. I am also aware of the highly favorable reviews garnered by The Dark Knight and will be adding it to my watch list as well.
Thank you very much, dear friend BB!
I never saw the Zorro TV Show but Love Adam West in his campy best:) I think you would love both films. Zorro for the fun and Batman for the twisted Joker played brilliantly by Heath Ledger. It was a great loss when he diedDelete
Ooh Birgit I have seen all three films this week and my fav was the mask of Zoro....my dad and I loved watching on the sofa on a Sunday..he loved all the action films so I have watched lots.....hope you are feeling much better...xxxxxReplyDelete
Yeah to all films being seen. I am feeling better.Delete
My very first thought was the movie 'Mask' with Cher. I grew up watching Zorro on the TV and was disappointed in the movie. Chaperoned a train load of teenagers to Toronto years ago to see Phantom - never saw the movie. And agree that Christian Bale is the best Batman. 'If not him, who?'ReplyDelete
I love MASK and I totally forgot about that one but I would have chosen it. Loved Sam Elliott in that movie...hubba hubba. I never saw the theatre production and wish I would have. I was not into all the hoopla at that time. Ben Affleck is not great, either was George Clooney. I didn't mind Michael Keaton but I would say...Idris ElbaDelete
I absolutely love your third pick and I agree that Bale's is the best Batman. We almost matched on Phantom of the Opera. I picked De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise.ReplyDelete
We did almost match but the same theme at least. Bale is the bestDelete
I've seen all three of your picks! I thought The Mask of Zorro was goofy as fuck but I was also really young when I saw it. I approve of The Dark Knight everywhere as well. lolReplyDelete
It is goofy and love your comment..hahahaaa. I truly enjoy it. I figure the Dark Knight would be everywhereDelete
Once again, I've not seen a single one of these films. I'm not much of one for superheros, but I would LOVE to see Phantom of the Opera, since I have seen the stage version. I think these were probably very good choices for this challenge.ReplyDelete
The Phantom has been done many times. he first and the best, in my opinion, is the silent version with Lon Chaney done in 1925. I bet you have seen images of him. The next is the one I mention followed by Herbert Lom in the 1962 version. You have the cult favourite Phantom of Paradise and the musical done in 2004 which isn't bad.Delete
Ooh these are good pics!ReplyDelete
I blush to admit I've never seen The Phantom of The Opera. I always wanted to see it as a play. Maybe someday.
Hope your day is filled with sparkle.
If you look above, I give all the versions I know. I'd love to see it in a play. Sparkle is all I know even when the sparkle is black:)Delete
Hi Birgit - I really should watch some of these old films ... at some stage I will - and you're a great resource ...ReplyDelete
thank you so much. One day...Delete
Read the book, saw, and saw.ReplyDelete
Eyes Wide Shut
Scream is great. Batman-if with Michael Keaton, I like it. I have not seen Eyes Wide ShutDelete
Love the way you went with the theme! I wasn't crazy for The Dark Knight, it was good but then I'm not the biggest Batman fan overall so none really knock me out.ReplyDelete
This version of the Zorro legend was well done, and Banderas is perfect casting, but my fave remains the Ty Power one. Not just because he costars with my beloved Linda Darnell but it is a rollicking adventure and Power is at the peak of his movie star gorgeousness.
We Match!! I suspected we might with that pick I just wasn't sure which version. Anything with Claude Rains is worth seeing and he really did add a layer of human dimension to the Phantom that was unique unto himself.
I puzzled a bit on how to approach this week since horror isn't my thing and decided that since I do love a theme within the theme I'd use that as my guide in choosing.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)-Moody, expressionist original version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the tale of a disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who resides under the Grand Opera House of Paris and becomes enamored by a young singer (Mary Philbin). He becomes obsessed with making her a success resorting to extremes to bring that about. Contains a most impressive color sequence which considering it’s almost 100 years old is beautifully composed from the primitive elements available at that time. There have been many versions but this remains a singular experience thanks to both Chaney’s self-designed makeup hidden for most of the running time behind a mask and skill at expressing emotion through it.
The Phantom of the Opera (1943)-Rejiggering the origin story somewhat this version starts with opera violinist Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) hopelessly in love with raising soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) who is also pursued by baritone Anatole Garron (Nelson Eddy) and police inspector Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier). Claudin secretly sponsors Christine’s vocal training until he is dismissed due to arthritis in his hands. Having submitted a concerto to an unscrupulous publisher Claudin discovers his work stolen and in a fit of anger strangles the man just as his assistant enters and throws a tray of acid in Claudin’s face. Permanently scarred he dons a mask and haunts the cellars of the opera house pursuing his goal to make Christine a star at any cost. Incredibly lush looking film was nominated for four Oscars. Unsurprisingly Rains is excellent and both Eddy and Susanna Foster were major opera stars of their day so the performance sequences are solid.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)-Filmed take of the enormously successful Andrew Lloyd Webber version does not capture the magic that was present onstage. Curiously inert considering the entire thing is sung and staged for movement with the mask once used to hide the phantom’s disfigurement far more aesthetically pleasing now that he has been transformed into some sort of romantic stud ideal. Considering he’s not a trained singer Gerard Butler does well enough in the lead but you’ll miss Michael Crawford soaring power on the songs. The rest of the cast is efficient but unmemorable except for Minnie Driver who has fun as the bitchy diva Carlotta, though her voice is dubbed.
I'm glad you chose all 3 Phantoms. I picked the original before otherwise this would have been my pick too. I think it is the best version. Love the 1943 version that is now hardly shown along with the 1962 version with Herbert Lom as the Phantom. I didn't mind the musical and I liked Emmy Rossum. Minnie is always good ...for the most part. I was disappointed in Gerard Butler's singing as it is not a standout.Delete
Glad you mentioned the Herbert Lom version above! I LOVE me some Herbert Lom!!! He isn't really that well-known or remembered in the States but he was always consistently outstanding throughout the years. I kept to three for this but now I wish I had gone over and included his version. The filmed take of the stage show was disappointing.Delete
I almost chose his version as I love him too. He is so under-rated as a actor and known for the Pink Panther role of The Inspector mainly. Yes, the musical could have been so much betterDelete
It will be hard for anyone to top Dark KnightReplyDelete
Dark Knight is great and even the next one with Cat Woman and Bane with that mask..I did find him annoyingDelete
Seen all three. Mask of Zorro was great, as was the Dark Knight. So many super hero ones to pick. Even Blank Man lolReplyDelete
Hahahaaa. Blank Man and The Tick!Delete
Three great choices.ReplyDelete
I do agree with a review I saw of this version of Phantom: "Too much opera, not enough phantom," but I love Claude Rains in anything.
I am a huge fan of everything Zorro and wasn't disappointed by this version at all. I especially liked little tips of the hat to other Zorro movies and serials. The writers did their homework.
I think Heath Ledger earned his Oscar for The Dark Knight. Lots of great performances in this film.
Yes, well, The late '30s and 40s were the height of the opera from Deanna Durbin, Jeannette McDonald to Kathryn Grayson and Eleanor Powell. I never saw the tv show so I'm glad to hear there are references to the other shows. Heath did deserve the Oscar..so sad when he passedDelete
I love The Dark Knight. What a great movie. Another "mask" movie is Mask. It's a mask of a different kind.ReplyDelete
Yes...Denise mentioned this earlier and I could have had a V8! I would have picked this film for sureDelete
I like your choices for Mask, Birgit. Ledger was amazing as the Joker. Banderas and Hopkins were great as Zorro. I also enjoyed Hamilton playing Zorro as The Gay Blade. haahaha. There's that movie with Hopkins playing that guy who likes a Chianti with fava beans. Ah, how about that scene in which the King wears a chicken suit, telling everyone "I thought it was a costume ball." Something like that in "Start the Revolution Without Me."ReplyDelete
How I love Start The Revolution Without me...The poor king and all those notes being passed at the ball...hahahaaa. Loved Hamilton as Zorro who did it so well in tonguie in cheek. Silence of the Lambs is chilling and he also wore another man's face..yuckDelete
Very cool choices, Birgit! I'm with you: The Dark Knight is my favorite Batman movie, Bale is my favorite Batman, the boat scene is brilliant—but it's Heath Ledger that stole the movie for me. Absolutely fabulous piece of acting. (And a much too early departure from this plane of existence...).ReplyDelete
Which mask-related movies would I pick? Do they have to be scary? Hmmm... The guy from Halloween always freaks me out, and I don't even need to watch the films, hehe. There's a really good suspense/thriller film about a deaf woman who gets stalked in her middle-of-nowhere house—cannot remember the title, but it's rather recent—and the stalker guy wears a mask, only for the first third or fourth of the film, but it's super creepy.
Thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter, and for keeping me and my loved ones in your thoughts :)
I'm so glad to see you hear and hope all is well. Someone else mentioned that movie about the deaf woman but I can't remember the title. The scary movies freak me out. I also thought of writing about To Catch A Thief but I went with my 3Delete
Nice choices. The title made me think of Phantom (of course) and the movie Mask. Although, there was no mask in Mask.ReplyDelete
I would have picked Mask if I thought of it because it is such a great movie with great acting. This is when I fell in lust with Sam ElliottDelete
I remember watching Phantom of the Opera as a kid. It was an old B&W film but I don't recall the year but I loved it! Mask of Zorro is a fun movie! I haven't seen The Dark Knight. I heard it was good, though. You shared some great films featuring masks! This was a good prompt.
If it was a silent film then you saw the original even thought there are parts of that film that were hand painted. The other films are in colour so you probably saw it on your black and white tv. Thanks...I tried my best with the masksDelete
The one I saw was not silent but now that I think about you, you're probably right about the B&W TV set. My folks had one for years. I remember when they got our first color television, I thought that was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. :)
I have yet to see The Dark Knight. I'm not sure what movies with masks that I like best. I do like the Halloween movies. I remember the first time I saw it, it scared me so much! I was taking care of a neighbor's dog while she was out of town and I had to go over to her house a few times a day. Her house sat on a side road that went back to a really scary dirt road and I had to go over to her house in the dark and that movie had me so spooked, I could hardly wait to get out of that house and back to the safety of my own home. Now it's kind of a tradition with me every Halloween to turn out all the lights and pretend I'm not home (I don't do trick-or-treaters) and watch a Halloween marathon! And I still get scared... :)
Have a great weekend,
Michele at Angels Bark
I love Halloween and hand out candy to the critters...human kind. I wonder how many will be dressed like the orange man...hahahaaa. That walk would be scary. One Halloween time my parents were gone and I was left in the house which was big and creaky. I was watching a show about Bigfoot and how one woman said she was sitting on her sofa with the window behind her and she looked behind and sasquatch was staring back at her. I was sitting on the chesterfield with the window behind me...total freak out. I changed the channel only to find nothing but horror movies on. I finally settled on a Love Boat RerunDelete
lol! A Love Boat rerun! That's funny. It's crazy what our imagination can do to us. But then again, if you ever watch the ID channel (Discovery ID), it proves that real life is just as scary and that monsters are in fact real. Love Boat sounds like a welcome retreat!Delete
The title made me think of Phantom (of course) and the movie Mask. Although, there was no mask in Mask.ReplyDelete
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