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
Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »
Young business executive has a change of heart and becomes a struggling but happy tap dancing magician. His old boss ends up ruined without his best employee, but finds a way to bounce back by commercializing his idea.
Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose two hundred fifty thousand dollars, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City, and comedy follows.
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
Winslow/The Phantom picks up the video entitled "Contract of Agreement". He takes out the tape and drops the box on the floor. Then when we see all live feed screens, you can see the box back on the shelf where it originally was. 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 »
Talented underground creators. How great it is to be in their worlds! that's when we get them at the height of their more uncontrolled and pure creativity. unmanipulated, wild. The outcome of what they do when they work within the underground is hardly the best work they produce, but it's often their more passionate creations, and practically always indicates what they will master when they "grow up".
Here we have a film that exists in 3 levels (at least 3 that matter to me):
this is a film within a social and cultural context. The kind of music we hear here (not the multiple parodies, but the music that is intended to be "good") was a reaction to the 60', or the next step of the evolution. Within the same underground spirit that created this film, there was a growing tendency to extend and invent forms that would accommodate the fantasies of new musicians. That's what today we know as progressive rock. This film would pave the way for Tommy, for Live at Pompei, and for The Wall.
Paul Williams, great mind, great talent. Much of what works here is his vision, from the mood even to some roots of the story. His parodies are great, but his real stuff is good enough. I enjoyed getting to know him better, and it Is funny that he comes to perform the guy who steals his own music.
de Palma, who was my first interest when coming to this. The fact is i didn't know so well what to expect, and i ended up appreciating more the other levels than this one of the director. Apparently by this time he had clarified what he wanted to explore, but he was far from mastering any of his enormous visual skills, or this film was such a collective work that he just couldn't make his personal statement so well. Anyway we have here eventually the first split screen of his career (i'm not absolutely sure of this), something he would take all his careers with incredible results. Other than that, we don'te have his magical camera eye yet.
The story matters only for the fact that we have a battle between creative and money grower, something that all the people involved here might know pretty well back in those days.
Jennifer Harper has a pretty face, and illuminates the set when she sings.
My opinion: 4/5
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