7.4/10
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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
Reviews
Popularity
4,324 ( 103)
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:

He sold his soul for rock 'n' roll! 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

In 1975, a novelization by Bjarne Rostaing was released. Based on an early draft of the screenplay, the book reads like fan-fiction, telling a drastically different story than the film. 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

Beef: Listen, Philbin. There really is a phantom. He was just in my shower. He threatened my life. He said his music was just for Phoenix. Only she can sing it. Anyone else who tries, dies.
Arnold Philbin: What the hell are you talking about?
Beef: Look, Philbin. I am a professional. I have been in this business a long time. Now if I don't want to do a show, it's not because I got stage fright. It's because some creature from beyond doesn't want me to do the show! Now gangway!
Arnold Philbin: [stopping Beef] Bullshit! Now, how did that ...
[...]
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

Referenced in Dressed in Purple: Nancy Allen on 'Dressed to Kill' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Faust
Written by Paul Williams
Performed by Paul Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

In the court of King Williams
11 June 2010 | by RResendeSee all my reviews

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

http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com


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