The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantome de l'Opera, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. The movie remains most famous for Chaney's ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film's premiere.
The picture also features Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland, John St. Polis, and Snitz Edwards. The last surviving cast member was Carla Laemmle (1909�2014), niece of producer Carl Laemmle, who played a small role as "prima ballerina" in the film when she was about 15.
The film was adapted by Elliott J. Clawson, Tom Reed and Raymond L. Schrock and was directed by Rupert Julian and with supplemental direction by Lon Chaney and Edward Sedgwick.
The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In the United States, the film is in the public domain due to Universal's failure to renew the copyright in 1953. It was parodied in the 1970s film Phantom of the Paradise and by the Terry Pratchett novel Maskerade.