Brian Trenchard-Smith on

The Phantom of the Opera ’62

Released 1962
Distributor Hammer Films

Cary Grant starring in a Hammer Film? It almost happened! After a stillborn incarnation as an in-house Universal domestic production from producer William Alland, this third film version of Gaston Leroux’s warhorse finally emerged via Hammer with Herbert Lom in a very underrated performance as the benighted Phantom. When televised on NBC, the more intense sequences were replaced with added footage of Scotland Yard inspectors shot at Universal with no input from Hammer, a common network practice at the time which kicked in on both Kiss of the Vampire and Evil of Frankenstein.

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.