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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

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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:

In supersonic stereophonic sound 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

The character of Winslow Leach (the Phantom) was named after director Brian De Palma's mentor, Wilford Leach. See more »

Goofs

When Swan is talking to the devil in the mirror, Swan takes the contract from him. However, when the devil says the words "in blood", he is still holding the contract. See more »

Quotes

Winslow Leach: [singing] All my dreams are lost and I can't sleep. And sleep alone could ease my mind. All my tears have dried and I can't weep. Old emotions, may they rest in peace and dream. Dream a bunch of friends, rest in peace and dream, dream it never ends.
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

Version of O Fantasma da Ópera (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Special to Me
Written by Paul Williams
Performed by Jessica Harper
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Belongs in The Unnamable Top-Ten List with "This is Spinal Tap"
19 November 2005 | by Dave_ViolenceSee all my reviews

My father wouldn't let me see this in 1974 (I was 11) and I recall him reporting a coworker's opinion that the film should have been rated "R."

So finally, in 2005, I see the film at age 42.

The film is disturbing on a variety of levels. First and foremost, I realized that most of the players are now in their late 50's and 60's. Disturbing, why? Well, because there's a band out there called "the Undead" (Bobby Steele, ex-Misfits) who, turns out, stole (or did he?) his name from Phantom of the Paradise's "the Undeads" Likewise, the Undeads in this film were doing in 1974 what Scandinavian death metal bands _started_ doing in the early 1990's. Furthermore, did the Damned's Dave Vanian rip off the Undead's gimmick?

I felt uneasy realizing that, had I seen the movie when it came out, I probably wouldn't have gotten any of the jokes; I wouldn't have laughed out loud at Beef, the lesbian jokes, the parody of self-important wimpy rockers. And I wouldn't have appreciated the successful composite of Phantom of the Opera, Faust, Picture of Dorian Gray, etc.

The acting is top-notch - the only way "camp" gets laughs. Paul Williams's Swan is the most black-hearted villain I've seen.

The wait was worth it for me on this one.


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