This is a vintage original 11x14 in. US title lobby card from the classic 1920's silent drama/horror thriller, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPER A, released in 1925 by Universal Pictures and directed by Rupert Julian. Based upon the famous novel by Gaston Leroux, at the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta (Virginia Pearson), and thus forces her to give up her role of "Marguerite" in Faust for unknown Christine Daae.Christine meets this phantom, a mad, disfigured composer who lives beneath the five floors of cellars of the Paris opera house. As The Phantom of the Opera was a Universal "Super Jewel" production (an "A" picture), the studio issued a massive campaign to promote the film, including 8 different one-sheets (when the standard was two) and a double lobby card set, each with its own title card. This is one of the two different title cards issued for the film's original 1925 US theatrical release, and it is the superior of the two different styles. While the other style presents a colorful shot of the grand foyer of the Paris opera house, it features a circular portrait of Lon Chaney in his street clothes, smiling, with a similar portrait of Norman Kerry and Mary Philbin.
The generic image of Chaney does not represent his character in this particular film. The title lobby card offered here depicts.In costume as Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, wearing his black cloak and hat with his back turned toward the viewer as he reacts to the oncoming sound of Christine Daae (Mary Philbin), the singer he is in love with, and her paramour, the dashing Vicomte Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry), of the Paris aristocracy. This vintage original title lobby card is unrestored in very fine condition with only one pinhole beneath the center of the top (above the "m" in "Phantom") and bottom border (within the "S" of "MASTERPIECE") and a slightly-rounded bottom right corner. The rich color tints are fresh and vibrant without any indications of fading. Without question, this is one of the finest examples of this style title lobby card , which is also in its much more desirable (and valuable) original, unrestored state , and for which collectors are willing to pay a premium to acquire. This is a true cornerstone piece for any serious collection on horror films and the film itself is regarded as a classic of silent cinema--the story still resonates with audiences today.
PLEASE NOTE that Universal re-released the film in 1929 as a "sound" version (with dubbed dialogue, for which Chaney did not participate, and music and sound effects), and they printed a new set of lobby cards, which had a title card very similar to this one except that it notes the addition of sound. The title lobby card offered here is from the film's original 1925 US theatrical release and is not from the 1929 re-release. Provenance: The Morris Everett Jr.Not a single photograph of Lon Chaney as "The Phantom" was published in a newspaper or magazine, or seen anywhere before the film opened in theaters. Universal Pictures wanted The Phantom's face to be a complete surprise when his mask was ripped off--this was also stipulated by Chaney in his contract for the film, as he himself realized the importance of keeping his face a mystery until the film was released. According to Charles Van Enger, the film's cameraman and. He himself had a very strong reaction as Lon Chaney's unsuspecting "guinea pig". Chaney had summoned Van Enger to his dressing room, but without telling him why. When he got there and was standing about a foot behind the actor, Chaney suddenly spun around in full Phantom makeup! I almost wet my pants. I fell back over a stool and landed flat on my back! " Chaney laughed so hard and Van Enger, who by then, was "mad as hell, " yelled, "Are you NUTS? " Unable to clearly talk with his fake teeth in, he spit them out: "Never mind Charlie, you already told me what I wanted to know.
Mary Philbin's reaction to the unmasked Phantom was real--she had no idea what he would look like until that exact moment. The item "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925) Title Lobby Card Lon Chaney Universal Horror VF" is in sale since Saturday, July 11, 2020. This item is in the category "Entertainment Memorabilia\Movie Memorabilia\Lobby Cards\Originals-United States\Pre-1940".The seller is "silentcinema" and is located in Valley Village, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.