Phantom of the ParadiseDirector: Brian De Palma
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"He sold his soul for rock-n-roll," read the tagline for Brian De Palma's satirical Phantom of the Opera for the '70s rock scene. After hearing Winslow Leach (William Finley) perform a song from his Faust rock opera, Phil Spector-ish impresario Swan (Paul Williams) decides that Winslow's opera would be the perfect debut attraction for his new rock palace, the Paradise. Swan steals the music and has Winslow imprisoned -- but not before Winslow meets aspiring songbird Phoenix (Jessica Harper). Jumping prison, Winslow breaks into Swan's Death Records factory to ruin the recordings, but a record press accident grossly disfigures him. Winslow then sneaks into the Paradise to sabotage Swan's show, disguising himself as the Phantom. Swan, however, cuts a deal with the Phantom to finish his cantata; he promises that Phoenix will sing it but then reneges, hiring prissy glam rocker Beef (Gerritt Graham). Determined to have Phoenix sing, the Phantom soon discovers just how far Swan will go to give the people what they want.
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Cast & Crew
|William Finley||Winslow/The Phantom|
|Keith Allison||Country and Western Singer|
|Mary Margaret Amato||Swan's Entourage|
|Andrew Epper||Winslow's Double|
|Jim Lovelett||Winslow's Double|
|Carol O'Leary||Betty Lou|
|William Shephard||Rock Freak|
|Archie Hahn||Singing Group|
|Jeffrey Comaner||Singing Group|
|Brian De Palma||Director,Screenwriter|
|Gregory M. Auer||Special Effects|
|Michael Dmytryk||Asst. Director|
|Jack Fisk||Production Designer|
|Al Gramaglia||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Peter Jamison||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Rosanna Norton||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Edward R. Pressman||Producer|
|Sissy Spacek||Set Decoration/Design|
|James Tanenbaum||Sound/Sound Designer|
|George Aliceson Tipton||Score Composer|
|Paul Williams||Score Composer|
Paradise Regained - A Documentary On The Making Of The Film Featuring Director Brian De Palma, Producer Edward R. Pressman, William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham And More...
Interview With Paul Williams Moderated By Guillermo Del Toro
Interview With Costume Designer Rosanna Norton
Interview With Producer Edward R. Pressman
Interview With Drummer Gary Mallaber
Alvin's Art And Technique: A Look At The Neon Poster
Phantom Of The Paradise Biography By Gerrit Graham: 1974 Publicity Sheet Written By And Read By Graham
William Finley And Toy
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Saw this flick while stationed onboard a FBM Submarine in the mid 70's. We picked this flick up before heading out to sea on 90 day Patrol. The whole crew fell in Love with the Female lead. We almost wore the flim out we played it so much. The topic has always come up at every Boat reunion since and I always vow to buy it. Finally after 30 years, I'm able to get it thanks to B&N.
The Phantom of the Paradise is what cult films are all about. A film you strive to watch over and over but not in succession. You know when you are hooked when you know the songs by heart and want to sing them out loud. Or that could be just me. But in any case, the plot is full of twists and turns taken from many great stories/movies in literary/cinematic history. Its worth watching at least once for those who don't get into cult films. You may find that you like it regardless of the cult film status.
I will acknowledge that this film is not perfect, and is not designed to fit everyone's taste, but for me, it is one of the most enjoyable movies of all time. An amalgam of seemingly every movie made before it, The Phantom of the Paradise is de Palma simply having fun, and that sense of play permeates the film. Puns and homages both visual and verbal abound, and the kinetic, comic book style visuals suit the story perfectly. The acting is also particularly good, especially the lovely Jessica Harper's fragile but ambitious Pheonix, and Gerritt Graham's wildly OTT Beef. The movie though belongs mostly to Paul Williams, as it is his diabolical record mogul Swan that drives the plot, and his compositions that make up the wonderful soundtrack. A great movie to watch with a group of friends.
Campy just like Rocky Horror. If you love Paul Williams's music... this is right up your alley. If your a fan of this era's style of film making you will like it. If not... then you wont.70's rock opera at it's best. Nuff said.
I'm not really a big fan of musicals(i.e. Rocky Horror,etc. to which this may be compared)but I still really enjoyed this picture. The music is cool and De Palma approached this concept very cleverly and tastefully.
Having first watched this movie in the 70s and then seeing it again in 2007, I remembered every word to every song. It's a great musical. I'm so glad it's finally on DVD!
I have seen this movie, maybe 20 times since it's release, and love it more each time. It's a sensory feast. Jessica Harper's singing is enchanting, and Garritt Graham, as ''Beef'', is hilariously over the top.