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
Gerrit Graham has talked about the infamous "musical chairs" casting, where William Finley almost wound up with no role to play. The studio considered casting Paul Williams as Winslow Leach, Graham as Swan and Peter Boyle as Beef. Williams turned down the role not only because he did not feel physically well or menacing for the role, but he did not want to use the role as a slam against the recording industry. Boyle was unavailable, Graham took the role of Beef and Finley ultimately took the role of Winslow Leach. In fact, director Brian De Palma actually wrote the role with Finley in mind. Finley said in a recent interview that Jon Voight was at one time considered for the role of Swan. See more »
When Winslow/The Phantom stabs himself but doesn't die because Swan explains that because he's under contract he cannot die until Swan dies. Winslow then stabs at Swan to no avail as Swan explains "I'm under contract too!".
Yet when Winslow burns his taped contract with the devil and his face starts to melt and age his stab wound he got from Winslow doesn't open up and start bleeding like Winslow's does. See more »
Our love is an old love, baby, it's older than all our years. I have seen in strange young eyes, familiar tears. We're old souls in a new life, baby. They gave us a new life to live and learn. Some time to touch old friends and still return. Our paths have crossed and parted, this love affair was started long, long ago. This love survives the ages, in it story lives are pages. Fill them up, may ours turn slow. Our love is a strong love, baby, we give it all and still receive. And so ...
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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 »
This movie is beautiful. Its a consummate midnight movie. Okay, so Paul Williams, Bill Finley, and Jessica Harper may not be the best actors in the world. And sure, the effects, set, camera moves, and acting is SO VERY seventies, but that doesn't take away from the most beautiful score of any made for film musical, heart tugging writing, and a great villain. Also, the humor of this film is great. De Palma was obviously having fun. I mean, this movie can be viewed as a bad piece of overblown trash, or a studio trying to capitalize on a midnight movie craze, but wheres the fun in that? The direction is solid, the music is relevant, and the movie tells a story. Its fun, entertaining, and emotional. What more do you want from a movie? Plus, you have Rod "Twilight Zone" Serling doing the opening narration! What a beautifully cheesy movie.
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