Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well! To those who follow me over on Instagram know I am big Phantom of the Opera Phan! To those who don’t, I am a big Phantom of the Opera Phan! So I thought it would be cool to rank the Phantom of the Opera adaptations I have seen so far! I have seen most of the adaptations, the only ones I have yet to see are the 1943, 1989, and 1983 adaptations, and I refuse to see the 1998 adaptation. So every time I see a new adaptation I will come back to this post and update it!
When I was ranking these adaptations I based it off of how close it was to the novel. I didn’t base it off of the characters because some adaptations have different characters or completely new characters so I decided to leave out the characters in my assessment. I mainly based my assessment on the plot, like does the Phantom teach Christine in her dressing room before bringing her to his lair, is there someone representing the Daroga, and is there a final lair?
First place goes to the 1925 silent film with Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin! This was a well done film, I was pleasantly surprised! This book followed along with the book and I was really happy to see that! One thing that I found a bit weird was Carlotta’s mom was in it and from what I’ve interpreted she is an age where her mom wouldn’t be very involved in her career. One thing that I was super happy to see was the inclusion of Raoul’s brother Phillip! And not only did they include the brother but they also included !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! His death, no adaptation has had that. SPOILER OVER. The Daroga was in it but he wasn’t named the Daroga, instead he was a chief of police person which kind of made me sad but at least there was someone representing the Daroga. This movie is so far the one most similar to the book, which is why it is number one. And not only for what I mentioned above but there are also a of bunch other scenes from the book that made it into this movie. The only thing that really wasn’t like the book was the ending. I hated the ending, but that’s a whole other manner. Anyways, the ending wasn’t like the book but most adaptations seem to have a different ending. Bottom line, good adaptation and if you can sit through a silent film then I’d recommend you give it a watch!
Next is the 1987 animated film with Aiden Grennell and Collette Proctor. This one is very similar to the book. While watching I noticed that some lines were exact lines from the book so I thought that was cool. Besides being very similar to the book, the film overall was… interesting. I found the Phantom’s mask to be a bit more scary than his actual face in this adaptation. It’s only about a 40 minute movie so everything felt like it was happening so fast but they did get the important stuff in so that was good. So far this is the only adaptation to have the Daroga in it which I was happy to see! If you need a good laugh I would definitely recommend watching this! The Phantom in this adaptation is quite funny, especially when Christine takes off his mask for the first time, he says after his little meltdown “I’m a very good looking fellow am I not… I’m a kind of Don Juan don’t you know.” While this isn’t my favorite adaptation it is the one that is very similar to the book which is why it’s number two
Okay so in third place we have Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation; I am including the 2004 movie with Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler + the 25th with Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo because they are both DVDs that can be bought. Anyways, while this adaptation isn’t quite like the book, it does have the base foundation of the book in it. I say this because while I was reading the book it was easy for me to see what songs would be taking place if I was watching the film. Something the 2004 movie has that is similar to what happened in the book is the Phantom/Erik putting Christine on a horse before the boat which I liked. One of the biggest similarities to the book is when Bouquet talks to the dancers about the Phantom and how he looks. The song is called Magical Lasso and Bouquet describes the Phantom very similar to how he does in the book. As a meme once said, this song is the only evidence that ALW skimmed the book😂 The final lair in this book isn’t exactly like the final lair in the book but I think it’s a pretty good adaptation of it, in both the book and this adaptation the Phantom tries to kill Raoul so that’s something! He also gives Christine the choice to save Raoul by marrying him or refuse to marry him and have Raoul die. In the book the Phantom also gives Christine the ultimatum but the consequences are a bit different in the book. While the Daroga is not in this, I feel like Madame Giry embodies the Daroga just a smidge. Like the Daroga she leads Raoul to the lair for final lair, and also seems to know stuff about the Phantom. Overall, ALW’s adaptation of the book is a pretty solid one and I highly recommend giving the musical a listen!
In fourth place is the 1990 mini series with Charles Dance and Teri Polo. I loved this adaptation so much, it is my second favorite adaptation, ALW’s being the first. Charles Dance’s Erik is often refereed to Cherik so if I ever mention that, this is what I’m referring to. Anyways, this adaptation is pretty far from the book. The biggest one is that there is a parental figure in this adaptation. The inclusion of the parental figure pretty much undermines the whole part of the Phantom being mistreated by society and shunning himself below the Opera House. One thing I love about Cherik is he’s kind of a sassy guy. One line that he says that I love is “this place really is haunted” and when he says this, he is referring to Carlotta who is singing at the moment. Anyways, this isn’t about my love for Cherik aha. As much as I love this adaptation, in regards to the book it falls pretty far from similarity. One difference is in the character Raoul, in the book Raoul reconnects with Christine after seeing her perform. In this book he hears her somewhere else and then sends her to the Opera House to be trained under Carlotta. But they are childhood friends so that is something! Also, there really is no final lair scene, I mean there is, but it takes place on the rooftop instead of in well, his lair. This is also the only adaptation I have seen that doesn’t show the Phantom without his mask on, when they take it off the camera shows it from behind so we never see it. Bottom line is this isn’t the best adaptation when it comes to following the book but I still recommend watching it!!!
In last place is the 1962 adaptation with Herbert Lom and Heather Sears. I don’t even know where to begin but this is the worst adaptation I have seen and I think it will continue to be the worst. There are so many things wrong with this adaptation and I think the only resemblance it has to the book is that the Phantom wears a mask, and Christine’s name(not her last though). Ugh so many things were wrong I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll start with the Phantom. The whole backstory of the Phantom was he was born with a deformity and was shunned and mistreated by society so he sought refuge under the Opera House. Well in this adaptation he wasn’t born with the deformity, no he got it from being burned in a fire when he was like 20. Not only that but someone was murdered in the beginning which like doesn’t make sense because this Phantom doesn’t have the tragic backstory that causes the real Phantom’s morals to be messed up and stuff so there’s literally no reason for the murder. In the book because his morals are messed up he believes murdering someone for Christine is okay, but that isn’t the case with this Phantom so there is basically no reason to justify this murder, he just straight up murdered someone. Also the Phantom has a minion in this adaptation like ??? so that was a weird addition. So in the book the Phantom gives Christine lessons in her dressing room and she doesn’t know what he looks like and stuff well in this adaptation the Phantom kidnaps her, no sorry the minion kidnaps her, and takes Christine to his lair and then he gives her the lessons. Excuse me, producers, that’s not how it happens!!! I’m not even going to get started on the ending, just the worst. There are so many other problems with this movie from an adaption standpoint, I cannot even describe how bad it was. Overall this is probably going to be the worst adaptation of Phantom to exist.
So as I stated above, when I watch a new adaptation I will come back and edit this post to include that adaptation. Have you seen any of these adaptations, if so lets talk about it in the comments!