When Hammer Films was on a roll remaking classic horror stories the idea of revisiting a masked man lurking in an opera house was inevitable. What they never imagined was that the surefire hit would be anything but. This film bombed so spectacularly that it nearly ended the director’s career. Uneven and draggy, the new Phantom failed to terrify audiences despite some redeeming qualities to the production.
Imagine having Cary Grant playing one of the most famous movie villains of all time. Imagine that the movie would be made by Hammer Films, a studio having massive success releasing color remakes of black and white classic horror flicks. Imagine the box office receipts!
That’s the thinking that started The Phantom of the Opera remake into fast development. What was finally unveiled to the public not only lacked the superstar actor, but also the frights of Gaston Leroux’s novel. There is some confusion as to whether Grant may have been set to star as either the titular villain or the heroic lead, however it really doesn’t matter since he wouldn’t have been able to save this rather bloodless movie.