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The Phantom of the Opera (1983)

The Budapest Opera House's diva commits suicide after the owner ruins her career for having rejected his advances but her conductor-husband, believed killed in a fire, plans his revenge on all those he deems responsible for her suicide.


Robert Markowitz


Gaston Leroux (novel), Sherman Yellen


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maximilian Schell ... Sándor Korvin / The Phantom of the Opera
Jane Seymour ... Maria Gianelli / Elena Korvin
Michael York ... Michael Hartnell
Jeremy Kemp ... Baron Hunyadi
Diana Quick ... Madame Bianchi
Philip Stone ... Kraus
Paul Brooke ... Inspector
Andras Miko Andras Miko ... Balas
Gellért Raksányi Gellért Raksányi ... Lajos
László Németh László Németh ... Tony
Jenõ Kiss Jenõ Kiss ... Fodor (as Jenö Kis)
László Soós László Soós ... Willi
Dénes Ujlaky Dénes Ujlaky ... Footman of Hunyadi
Teréz Bod Teréz Bod ... 1st Cleaning Lady
Ágnes Dávid Ágnes Dávid ... 2nd Cleaning Lady


Sándor Korvin, the conductor of the Budapest Opera House tutors his wife Elena as Marguerite in FAUST. She drowns herself after a bad review rigged by the sinister Baron Hunyadi, whose affections she spurned. When confronting Kraus, the critic, Korvin gets into a fight and a fire is started. Korvin kills the critic, only to have his face burned beyond recognition with acid that falls from a shelf above. He is saved from the inferno by a rat catcher, who takes him to a lair underneath the opera. Five years later, he becomes The Phantom of the Opera, a masked figure who causes havoc among the cast. Korvin spots Maria Gianelli, a chorus girl who bears a remarkable resemblance to his dead wife. He tutors her by day, while Maria's love interest, however, is with Hartnell, who has taken over as director of FAUST. Korvin then executes his plan to exact revenge on the Baron and terrorize those who stand in the way of Maria's triumph. Written by J. Theakston

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror


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Release Date:

29 January 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Phantom von Budapest See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary

Company Credits

Production Co:

Robert Halmi See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | DTS | Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Maximillan Schell was known for "chewing the scenery" on occasion, regarding his performances. He did the same thing in "Phantom of the Opera." See more »


Version of The Phantom of the Opera (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

should be respected for it's faithful unmasking
30 November 2008 | by phantomzeroexSee all my reviews

Contrairy to what everyone thinks this is not a bad film. While, true it isn't faithful to Leroux, and the acting can make you feel like your watching a soap opera from the seventies, it is still an interesting take on the story. Maximillion Schell does a wonderful job as the Phantom, Shandor Korvan who after losing his wife to suicide takes revenge on the Baron and his men who drove her to it and in the process of killing the critic has both acid drip on his face and is caught on fire. After being rescued by the city ratchacer, did I mention it takes place in Hungary not France, he slowly recovers all the while scheming, waiting for the chance to destroy the Baron. Then a Italian American girl named Maria, not Christine, who looks almost identical to his wife, comes to sing at the opera. Korvan thinks Maria is his wife returned to him in a different form and he trains her to sing like he wished he could have taught his wife to sing. in the meantime Maria falls in love with the director(played by Micheal York) , our Roul. In the end The phantom steals her, jealous of her love for the director. She unmasks him; the director rescues her, and then we come to where the movie gets bad. I think The Phantom is trying to find Maria but gets side tracked and decided to cut down the chandelier while he is on it, maybe he was committing suicide, but he sees Maria is under him and he yells for her to move as it falls in extreme slow motion. In fact its so slow everyone has time to move out of the way and the only one killed is the Phantom. Everyone is sad and the end. There's a lot of bad things about this film, hey its a TV movie, but the thing that redeems it all is the Unmasking scene. It is fantastic. The makeup effects for the Phantom's disfigurement is wonderful. It seems the one thing that they tried to keep accurate to the book is the Phantoms face. It doesn't even look like a burn; it looks congenital. He hardly has a nose, his skin is a nasty yellow and parchment-like, and he only has a few hanks of dark brown hair on sides of his head and on his forehead. His mask is great too, it is a black hood with a blue green full face mask over the face with a movable jaw. Now, about the unmasking, HE QUOTES LEROUX!!!! Maria even burns his mask like Christine does in the book. Schell performances as Shandor Korvan, the Phantom, is great. As Shandor he seems believable that he is mental unstable and when he becomes The Phantom he is completely insane after the loss of his wife and his body, remember his whole body gets burned. He plays the Phantom for Horror and sympathy, like Lon Chaney, and I think he would of been a great Erik in a Leroux based movie. He has the deep voice for it. What you really have to remember is to not compare it to the book. Like all Phantom movies its its own work of art. Just because it not exactly like the book, or what you think is the book, referring to the last summary.

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