Cinema Historians have debated Lon Chaney Sr.'s impact upon "The Phantom of the Opera." The film thrives when Chaney is near and the Phantom dominates the final half of the film, with villainy that inspired generations of bad guys. Think of Bela Lugosi or a James Bond master villain or Darth Vader and see the bloodline from Erik the Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom's demise sets up a hook for a potential sequel, Erik is that formidable.
For the scenes without The Phantom, this 93 minute film drags thanks to Rubert Julian's stage direction. After a fistfight, Chaney directed his own scences and the rest is cinematic history.