Svengoolie aired this last night, and I didn't think I'd like it much since I'm not the biggest Hammer fan. I've seen the 1925 version, which is amazing especially with the iconic Lon Chaney makeup. I've also seen most of the '42 version, but I barely remember that, aside from the unmasking, which is always going to be hard to top in any movie after the first one. I've also read the book, which Eric is not a pleasant person at all. I'd like to read it again as it's probably been about 20 years now. After seeing this version it would be fun to do, though this one barely resembles the book.
As I said yesterday, I'd tried to watch it when I was younger, but fell asleep due to the late hour of the airing. I wish I had been able to see it all now, but this time I was awake and really enjoyed it, especially Herbert Lom's performance as the Phantom. He's pretty much behind the mask until the last scene, which works very well.
The Phantom isn't nearly as sadistic as he is in other versions, perhaps foreshadowing his newer role in romantic musicals. He's not quite a good guy, but we know what happened to him and why he's rather bitter.
I really liked the movie, but I do think Sven should show these movies in their proper aspect ration. It's not 1978.