The British Film Institute has been busy this year restoring and releasing cinema classics onto Blu-ray. The latest to be announced by the BFI is 1925's The Phantom of the Opera, the silent film directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney. We've included a look at the cover art below and a list of special features. The UK will see The Phantom of the Opera arrive on Blu-ray as part of a three disc set on December 3rd. Image Entertainment released this movie to Blu-ray back in 2011 for US readers who are interested in seeing the movie in high-definition.

"BFI Video proudly presents this definitive three-disc Dual Format Edition of this celebrated classic of silent film and horror cinema.

Lon Chaney, 'the man of a thousand faces', gives his most famous performance in this first version of the oft-filmed tale. Based on Gaston Leroux's novel, Chaney stars as the 'Phantom', living in the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera, who falls in love with the voice of a young opera singer. Infatuated, he kidnaps her, dragging her to the depths below where she will sing only for him.

Directed by Rupert Julian, this lavish 1925 production launched the Hollywood Gothic style - which would become the trademark of Universal horror films.

Original prints of the film were fully tinted, with some sequences in Technicolor, and a rooftop scene using a special process that enabled the Phantom's cloak to show red against the blue night sky. This Photoplay restoration carefully re-instates all these effects, and is accompanied by Carl Davis' celebrated score which draws heavily on Gounod's Faust, which is the opera being performed in the film."

Bonus Features:

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition;
  • Original 1925 version (b&w, 103 mins) with newly commissioned piano accompaniment by Ed Bussey;
  • Original 1925 trailer and 1929 sound reissue trailer;
  • Reel 5 from lost 1929 sound reissue: the only surviving element, discovered in the Library of Congress archives;
  • The 'man with the lantern' sequence: mysterious footage thought to have been shot for non-English speaking territories;
  • Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000, Kevin Brownlow, 86 mins, DVD only): the definitive documentary on the legendary actor and make-up artist;
  • Channel 4 Silents restoration souvenir programme (PDF);
  • Illustrated booklet featuring new essays, an original review and film credits.

*This story was submitted by Jemma George