7.4/10
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Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writer:

Brian De Palma
Reviews
Popularity
3,977 ( 3)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Finley ... Winslow / The Phantom
Paul Williams ... Swan
Jessica Harper ... Phoenix
Gerrit Graham ... Beef
George Memmoli ... Philbin
Archie Hahn ... The Juicy Fruits / The Beach Bums / The Undeads
Jeffrey Comanor ... The Juicy Fruits / The Beach Bums / The Undeads
Peter Elbling ... The Juicy Fruits / The Beach Bums / The Undeads (as Harold Oblong)
Colin Cameron Colin Cameron ... Band
David Garland David Garland ... Band
Gary Mallaber Gary Mallaber ... Band
Art Munson Art Munson ... Band
Mary Margaret Amato ... Swan's Entourage
Rand Bridges Rand Bridges ... Swan's Entourage
Jim Bohan Jim Bohan ... Swan's Entourage
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Storyline

Evil record tycoon Swan has sold his soul to the devil for eternal youth and success - 20 years ago. Swan's current scheme is to steal the music from composer Winslow Leach to celebrate the opening of his rock palace, The Paradise. While trying to stop Swan, Leach was framed and convicted for drug dealing, and becomes the victim of a freak accident that leaves him horribly disfigured. He takes refuge in the cavernous Paradise, hiding his mangled face beneath an eerie mask and planning gruesome vengeance upon Swan - and everyone else who has hurt him. However, Leach signs a contract with Swan to complete his rock opera based on the legend of Faust for an aspiring singer - Phoenix. Written by Max Davison

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A ground-breaking cult film favourite from acclaimed writer/director Brian De Palma. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harbor Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Movielab)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Beef goes from the alley to the stage, his 'tattoo' on his right cheek changes from a shamrock to a male/female symbol. See more »

Goofs

When Winslow is discovered by policemen in Swan's garden, the flashing red light seems to be on the left both of policemen and Winslow. See more »

Quotes

Swan: [holding a contract] It's all here. Read it carefully, and then sign at the bottom in blood. Messy, I know. But it's the only way I can bind you. Tradition. What do you have to lose?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits feature a series of montages of the cast members, identifying each by name, starting with the musical trio (Oblong, Hahn, Comanor) and concluding with William Finley as Winslow/The Phantom. These montages are made up of shots ostensibly from the movie, and most of them are, but there are also numerous outtakes. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the pre-release (or press) prints of the movie, the scene where Winslow was disfigured by the record press was longer; His disfigured face was briefly seen steaming with smoke from the press, and Winslow then killed the cop that surprised him (and shot him in the leg, which explained why Winslow walked with a limp for most of the film; however, he was able to run with the greatest of ease towards the end). The scene was removed from subsequent versions, as it was best decided that Winslow's disfigured visage be revealed at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Mask with Tom Burman (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Upholstery
Written by Paul Williams
Performed by Jeffrey Comanor, Archie Hahn and Peter Elbling as The Beach Bums, lead vocal Jeffrey Comanor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Unique Rock Opera, That Is All I Can Say
5 April 2011 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

A composer has his music stolen by a big-time record producer and vows his revenge. Things get more complicated after he gets sent to jail and apparently commits suicide in the river...

Howard Maxford feels the film is "dated", and that is the best criticism one can make of the film. The songs do not hold one's attention well. The plot in general is decent, but the music -- a central focus of the movie -- is just average.

Brian de Palma, the director of "Carrie" and "Black Dahlia", is in charge here. He makes a visually appealing film, with angles and colors that call to mind Stanley Kubrick's "2001" and "A Clockwork Orange", as well as Dario Argento's "Suspiria" (which star Jessica Harper would appear in after this film).

Gerrit Graham ("TerrorVision") as Beef is great, and a nice send-up of glam rock. The critics had called the film "funny" and "hilarious", but both are exaggerations. The humor is very subtle, with this being a musical first, horror film second and comedy third.

The references to Dorian Gray are awesome, and unspoken. There are also cues from Poe and previous "Phantom" films. Some have said there is even an homage to Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil" (and I believe them, but I have not seen the film yet). Sissy Spacek is credited as a "set dresser"... you decide what that means.


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