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The Phantom of the Opera (1991)

Not Rated | | Musical, Drama, Horror | TV Movie 7 June 1991
France, 1900. As a young girl, Christine is told by her father of the 'Spirit of the Music' - a guardian angel who comes to a select few with the gift of 'perfect music'. Ten years later, ... See full summary »


Darwin Knight


Bruce Falstein, Gaston Leroux (novel)

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Credited cast:
James Baldwin James Baldwin ... Joseph Buquet
Darin De Paul ... Monsieur Moncharmin
Alexandra Kinter Alexandra Kinter ... Young Christine
Richard Kinter Richard Kinter ... Monsieur Richard
Joey Leone Joey Leone ... Young Raoul de Chagny
Beth McVey Beth McVey ... La Carlotta
Harsh Nayyar ... The Persian (Daroga)
Kim Ostrenko ... Madame Giry
Christopher Rath Christopher Rath ... Raoul de Chagny
David Staller David Staller ... Erik
Erick Walck Erick Walck ... Old Man Daae
Elizabeth Walsh Elizabeth Walsh ... Christine Daae


France, 1900. As a young girl, Christine is told by her father of the 'Spirit of the Music' - a guardian angel who comes to a select few with the gift of 'perfect music'. Ten years later, Christine - now a promising singer at the Paris Opera House - is finally visited by the "Spirit" of her father's story, who promises to give her the greatest voice the world has ever known. Meanwhile, a series of increasingly bizarre accidents terrify the Opera's cast and staff, attributed to a legendary Phantom who supposedly haunts the theater. When these strange events eventually scare the company's prima donna away, it's up to Christine to take her part. After her debut, the Spirit of Music whisks Christine away into his realm behind the mirror, where it is revealed that both Spirit and Phantom are in fact one and the same - not a supernatural creature, but a man, Erik. A musical prodigy who hides his horribly disfigured face under a mask, Erik believes Christine to be his match in perfect music,... Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Musical | Drama | Horror


Not Rated






Release Date:

7 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fantasma de la ópera See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Version of Erik: Portrait of a Living Corpse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

It makes me think ... What is passion? What is passion without liberty?
15 August 2005 | by deadly_tiger11See all my reviews

I actually liked this version and I have noticed that all the other reviews were made by what is termed "weekend fans" that is to say, fans who ONLY like the awl version. Yes, I know. If awl cant get Erik's name, why should I get his? The truth is, the explicit nature of awl's work is only one form of theater. Now think of another: Sondheim, who is equally talented, but more often implicit and less commercial. It is very easy for a newcomer to musical theater (or one who frequents only major touring productions) to be humanly dazed coming out of the Webber/Hal Prince production and then expect the rest of the theater world to deliver similarly muscular musicals.

The million dollar question remains: Is theater a visceral roller coaster set in two acts or can it challenge an audience to think? If the latter, what is the appropriate size and presentation to evoke thought? Lawrence Rosen and Paul Schierhorn's Phantom of the Opera is limited in size, budget and, yes, talent. In fact, it seems to live in a time capsule: a small regional musical inspired by Victorian operettas with no sense that it exists under the shadow of a late-twentieth century pop giant. Having seen many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, the moderate song/dialog/song structure feels common to its form. Instead of rejecting its technique, I found myself quieting my commercial sensibilities in order to appreciate its low-key interpretation. (Just like Christine, I, too, have been trained to hear only Webber's grandiloquent music.) But it made me think! Bruce Falstein's book to the score presents a striking philosophic debate absent in most Phantom interpretations: What is passion? Should it be driven underground, symbolically like a monster? And what is passion without liberty (a timeless French theme)? In a superficial world, there is little room for the passionate genius to express himself freely, to create angelic music. Will even the genius be driven underground, cursed to deformity by conformity? This Phantom, without gargantuan sets and heroic harmonies, made room for a few universal themes previously overlooked.

The romantic triangle between Christine, Erik and Raoul is open to multitudinous interpretations and I'm ready to watch them all. Webber's gilding of Gaston Leroux' novel (already pervasively Gothic) with baroque artifice is sensational, indeed. I love theatrical excess! But I wonder if its truthful. Lawrence Rosen and Paul Schierhorn's Phantom is financially restrained but a purer narrative and in the end it struck me that Christine's choice to follow the fashionable Raoul is an obvious choice, but is it a courageous one? For me, viewing this small musical was my choice, like staying at a bed and breakfast for a change instead of the Hilton. Now what's yours?

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