The Lon Chaney Movie
I hadn't realized before how much of the musical was taken directly from this film version...namely the unmasking at the organ, and the Red Death coming down the staircase. It also remains fairly close to the original novel, with a few exceptions (the Persian is a member of the Secret Police?). I really liked that they left Raoul's brother in, though I don't know if it was necessary to show Erik killing him. :-)
I also took offence to Erik being called "criminally insane", since, as most people who know me already realize, I don't think Erik was insane in the novel. But I have come to accept that most people don't think he could have done all the things he did if he wasn't insane.
I enjoyed Lon Chaney as Erik quite a bit, even if he was a bit too insane at times, but I'm sure that was more from the direction than anything else. Mary Philbin as Christine was fine, and I thought it was much more a matter of betrayal on her part than it is in the show. She actually promises him to "be your slave forever", and then goes back on it. I don't blame him for being upset. :-)
I really enjoyed the sets as well...the mirror was nicely done, and Erik's lair and the torture chamber were very nearly perfect for me.
But, my one major complaint would have to be the ending. Again, they deny poor Erik his redemption, and kill him off instead! However, this is probably my favourite of the movies I've seen so far, and definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet!
Order the movie from Barnes & Noble.com on DVD or VHS.