Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
31 Days of Halloween: 'The Phantom of the Opera' (1925)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2016, at 1:01 PM
Lon Chaney was the first choice to play Dracula in Universal's 1931 film, but he died the year before of lung cancer.
LITTLE ROCK — 31 Days of Halloween!
Here is a countdown of some of the most influential, terrifying, disgusting and entertaining horror films over the last 100 years.
No. 29: "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925)
A mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) haunts the Paris Opera and sets his sights on the lovely ingenue, Christine (Mary Philbin).
Co-starring: Norman Kerry and Gibson Gowland.
Runtime: 93 minutes
Chaney became well-known for developing his own make-up for many of his characters, as he did in "Phantom." In fact, Chaney used egg membranes on his eyeballs to make them look cloudy.He also employed fish skin and a bald cap to create the skeletal look for his face.
When the Phantom reveals his face to Christine the horrified reaction of actress Mary Philbin is genuine, and not acting, according to cinematographer Charles Van Enger. Chaney kept his make-up a secret until the last possible moment, so Philbin was, in fact, startled at his grotesque appearance.
The Phantom has a very unusual-looking bed in the picture. And it was used again years later. as Gloria Swanson's bed, in the film "Sunset Blvd" (1950).
In 1930, a sound version of "The Phantom of the Opera" was released and it grossed another million dollars for Universal Pictures. Sadly, this talkie no longer exists and is considered a lost film.
When director Rupert Julian was approached to helm the project he simply said, "Lon Chaney, or it can't be done!"