I reviewed the BFI blu-ray last night and was not impressed. The transfer of the Eastman House print is sharp, but marred horribly by the tinting. It's hard to tell, but the Technicolor and Handschiegl scenes seem to be cut in from PAL rather than re-transferred. D'Arcy Corrigan as the Man with the Lantern is still clipped, as are the original end credits (arg!) The Lantern Man sequence is at least thrown in as an extra, and is clear enough that you can almost make out what he’s saying.
The 1925 version is as clear a transfer as is going to come from one of those Movie Wonderland dupes. Generally speaking it looks good, although a lot of the blemishes could have been cleaned up if a little money had been thrown at it. It's still straight B&W, not tinted. The piano score by Ed Bussey is uninspired, and doesn't even source the Gounod music at the appropriate points. The man with the lantern, who is part of the original film, and whom Photoplay still seems to think is from the 1930 sound re-issue, is completely eliminated in a sloppy video edit. I guess Photoplay really hates that man and his lantern.
Both trailers are included in new, clearer transfers, which is a delight to see. The sound re-issue trailer has a different track than the Milestone transfer of it, both of which I’m fairly certain have been cobbled together from the film’s soundtrack discs expressly for those video presentations.
The thing to buy this set for is the 11-minute excerpt from the 1930 re-issue. It starts out with a cut-in (I think) from the Photoplay restoration and leads into the actual footage. What is something of a revelation is that the continuity of the dressing room scene is changed. In the original, and in the Eastman House print (and even the sound trailer), Raoul enters Christine’s dressing room first, hides in it, and then she comes in and goes through the mirror. The way they reshot it, she goes through the mirror, followed by the previous shot of Raoul entering her room, which is intercut with a 1930 Norman Kerry coming into her dressing room, tripping on a rug, looking around and then leaving. I’m not sure why they did this other than perhaps to have a brief moment where Mary Philbin is talking as she’s going through the mirror. As was speculated and we can now see, that is indeed Phillips Smalley as the Phantom’s emissary and a very unconvincing double for Chaney casting his shadow on the wall. I'm fairly certain this is supposed to be another character rather than the D'Arcy Corrigan character or the Rat Catcher, otherwise they would have likely re-shot those scenes, too. The transfer of the track is quite clear and is at the correct speed—there’s even a moment where you can hear one of the orchestra players cough. About 3/4 into the reel, the Photoplay edition fills in the missing part of the end of the reel.
Also unusual in the extant 1930 reel are the intertitles, which are the same as the Eastman House print. In another surviving segment of this re-issue as well as the Technicolor segment (also from a 1930 print), the titles are re-written and re-set in a Roman font rather than the then-usual Pastel intertitle font.
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"