I just watched a DVD of the 1943 Hollywood version of The Phantom of the Opera. Man, what a hunk of Velveeta that turned out to be. All of the principals are bland except for Claude Rains, and his version of the Opera Ghost ([deep breath]...a violinist falling prey to arthritis or rheumatism who puts on a mask and moves into the catacombs below the Opera after he has acid flung in his face by a music publisher's lover avenging his murder of the publisher, whom he mistakenly believes had stolen the concerto he hoped would fund the voice lessons for his unwitting protégé, Christine) can't compare to Leroux's gloriously awful Erik. I would have liked the movie better if they'd kept the scenes revealing that he's actually Christine's father, but apparently the studio couldn't handle the whiff of incest. Even the suggestion at the end that Christine's suitors were going to abandon her hook up with each other fell flat, because those guys are about as interesting as a bucket of whey. Aside from that semi-flirtation, Rains's paean to the dark as he leads Christine to his lair, and the admittedly gorgeous sets, the only aspect of the film that stirred my imagination was the casting of Fritz Leiber, the father of author Fritz Leiber, Jr., as Franz Liszt.