THE PHANTOM OF THE MOULIN ROUGE (1925)
Article #849 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-12-2003
Posting Date: 12-9-2003
Directed by Rene Clair
Featuring George Vaultier, Jose Davert, Albert Prejean
A noted businessman disappears at about the same time that mysterious happenings take place in Paris.
Title check: Though the phantom doesn’t focus on the Moulin Rouge for his doings, it is the site for certain events that culminate in his appearance.
The above plot description does not match the movie for about the first half hour, which unfolds in such a way as to lead you to suspect that you’re watching a fairly conventional melodrama of sorts. However, it’s at about the half hour point that things start to get weird, and it’s also at this point that the more comic aspects of the story manifest themselves. The comedy element was somewhat inevitable, as the movie was directed by Rene Clair, who was an expert at adding a light comedy touch to this sort of story. The plot takes some very interesting and fascinating directions; it’s something of a ghost story, but it depends a little on exactly how you define a ghost. At any rate, this one was a lot of fun, with some particularly fascinating editing during the encounter between the businessman and the psychologist.