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The Phantom of the Opera (1998)

Il fantasma dell'opera (original title)
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1:16 | Trailer

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Gory remake of the Gaston Leroux classic story, only this time, the phantom is not disfigured, but a man who was raised by rats deep under the Paris Opera House.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Gaston Leroux (novel), Gérard Brach | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julian Sands ... The Phantom
Asia Argento ... Christine Daaé
Andrea Di Stefano ... Baron Raoul De Chagny
Nadia Rinaldi Nadia Rinaldi ... Carlotta Altieri
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni ... Honorine
István Bubik István Bubik ... Ignace, the rat-catcher
Lucia Guzzardi Lucia Guzzardi ... Madame Giry
Aldo Massasso Aldo Massasso ... Pourdieu
Zoltan Barabas Zoltan Barabas ... Poligny
Gianni Franco Gianni Franco ... Montluc
David D'Ingeo David D'Ingeo ... Alfred
Kitty Kéri Kitty Kéri ... Paulette
John Pedeferri John Pedeferri ... Dr. Princard
Leonardo Treviglio Leonardo Treviglio ... Jerome De Chagny
Massimo Sarchielli ... Joseph Buquet
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Storyline

Standard story of the Phantom does have one major variation - The phantom is not a disfigured individual, but rather is an unwashed orphan abandoned in the sewers under the Paris Opera & raised by rats. The Phantom invokes death upon anyone who dares harm his beloved rats. In fact, The Phantom's nemesis is the chief exterminator who develops a rat-catching machine. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/gore and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | French

Release Date:

20 November 1998 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom of the Opera See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Medusa Film, Cine 2000 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Cinematographer Ronnie Taylor has worked on three other adaptations of Gaston Leroux's novel "The Phantom of the Opera". He was cinematographer in Dario Argento's previous Opera (1987), as well as camera operator in Brian DePalma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974). He also did the cinematography for Popcorn (1991), which is considered to have been inspired by the novel. See more »

Quotes

Christine Daae: I HATE you, and I HATE this place!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release is the unrated director's cut while the VHS version is the R-rated cut. See more »

Connections

Version of The Phantom of the Opera (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Faust: Overture
Music by Charles Gounod
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Prepare Thyself for Camp

Dario Argento probably wasn't trying to make a funny movie about The Phantom of the Opera. Probably wasn't, but the point is, he did. While the gore in the film is unnecessary, it is not as frequent as we may be led to believe. The film does start out fairly abruptly with a guy getting his upper half sawed off, and at this time you're wondering, "what the hell is wrong with this picture?" Other death scenes are fairly equally gruesome, but all are also expected, therefore lowering the "scary gore factor." Of course, then you see The Phantom. Now, of course, you're really confused by the blonde hair and lack of a mask. I wasn't complaining about his good looks, though. The acting on Julian Sands's part is sub-par but not horrible, while Asia Argento is somewhat better. The relationship between the two is not incredibly believable, a sort of instant-love instant-hate instant-sadness thing that just keeps the audience confused as to why Christine can't make up her damn mind. Andrea Di Stefano is likable as Raoul, but some of his scenes are just incongruous with his character.

The sexuality of the film is incredibly overdone. Argento seems to need to expose women's breasts as many times as possible, including a very large and very unattractive La Carlotta. The opium den/whorehouse scene pretty much makes the movie (along with the couple of really gory parts) rated-R because we are definitely talking full frontal nudity, both sexes, and if you aren't expecting it you are pretty much blown away.

However: despite its flaws in cinematography (annoying and constantly switching camera angles and a soap opera-like quality), below standard acting, strange and inconclusive love story, and numerous bits of unwarranted violence... there is something about this film that just makes me want to declare it a campy, a cult classic. It is absolutely hilarious to watch, though very disturbing at times. If you've got a twisted sense of humour and/or a love of the bizarre, then this version of PotO with a man sticking rats down his pants for pleasure is the kind of movie you will want to see! 5 stars out of 10 for just being fun, though about 3 stars out of 10 when watched "critically." But as I said above, "prepare thyself for camp" and you'll probably love it.


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