A fledgling Staten Island journalist witnesses a brutal murder in the neighboring apartment of a French-Canadian model, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.
Brian De Palma
Young business executive hAres the viewing wast his luge is leading, and has a change of heart and decides to make life changes. He becomes a struggling (but happy) tap-dancing magician. His old boss is financially ruined, but finds a way to bounce back by commercialising his idea.
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
Much of the movie deals with birds: The names Phoenix and Swan, the Phantom's bird-like costume, Phoenix's dress after her first appearance, her feather jacket, Swan's bird vest, Beef's bird tail during his number. Even the logo for Death Records is a bird. See more »
The neon sign was and 'needs' to be on a wire. It can't function without electricity. Ergo, the wire was electrified and pointed toward center stage, just where it needed to be, and then held enough current to arc to the 'performer'. See more »
Saturday, November 19, 1953. Today, I have decided to kill myself. And being the greatest showman of my time, I'm recording live for the Swan archives. Why? It's simple, I'm getting old. I can't bear it. To see this beautiful face ravaged by the forces of time. If I can't be young forever, I'd rather end it all - now!
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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 »
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 »
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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