This is a Chinese version of The Phantom Of The Opera done in a German Expressionist style. A theater group arrives at an old opera house and soon the male lead discovers there is a man who has wonderful voice living in the building. We find out that he was once a great opera singer, but was scarred with acid after bad-mouthing a local lord. This separated him from the woman he loved. He tries to get the new man to sing to her in his place, but things go badly when that same lord goes after the new singer. The phantom meets a Frankenstein-like ending.

Aside from the mention that the scarred opera singer had once been a revolutionary fighter there isn’t any propaganda here, which is refreshing. However, what is noteworthy is the style of the film. It makes wonderful use of light, shadow, expressive set pieces, and the acid scarred face is effectively frightening. I am sure it looked even prettier when there was a better print since this one often felt under lit. This movie is a notch above the other Chinese classics that I have seen so I have to recommend it.

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