The Phantom of Paris (1931)

Article #381 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 3-31-2002
Posting date: 8-24-2002

An escape artist is framed for the murder of the father of the woman he loves. He escapes from prison, and seeks a way to prove his innocence.

Horror fans may want to take note that there is no phantom to speak of, unless you think the fact that the escape artist evades the police for several years qualifies him as a “phantom” (I don’t). I suspect the title came from someone who knew that the author of the novel on which this movie was based was also responsible for the novel on which THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA was based, and thought they could draw a connection. It stars John Gilbert, and there’s no doubt it’s slickly made, but once the murder is committed (which takes C. Aubrey Smith out of the cast), the movie loses some of its initial charm, and, despite some interesting moments, it gets a little tiresome and predictable. All in all, a pretty average movie.


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