Brian De Palma's great, overlooked 1970s glitter-rock comedy-musical spectacle is a memorable combination of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and FAUST. Winslow Leach (William Finley) is a talented young rock composer/janitor whose music is stolen and whose life is destroyed by a ruthless record tycoon named Swan (Paul Williams)--who just happens to have sold his soul in exchange for rock-n-roll success and eternal youth! The ruined and disfigured Leach becomes the Phantom, an imposing leather-clad creature who is hell-bent on demolishing Swan as the diabolical music mogul prepares to open his biggest venture yet-- a rock-and-roll palace called The Paradise. Eerily prescient in it's depiction of yet-to-exist musical genres, this stunningly original and darkly comic rock nightmare features voice over narration by Rod Serling, and memorable original songs by the multi-talented Williams. Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Song Score (Paul Williams/George Aliceson Tipton).
An updated version of "Phantom of the Opera", with a rock-music score. A disfigured rock singer has two missions in life: to turn the woman he loves from afar into a star, and to wreak vengeance on the producer who destroyed his face and his career.
Big Business |
Cult Film |
Devil / Demons |
Essential Cinema |
Rock And Roll |
Theatrical release: October 31, 1974
Sissy Spacek was the set decorator on the film.
Locations included Dallas, Texas and New York.
Exteriors for the scenes involving The Paradise were filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Swan's label was originally entitled Swan Song. Just after filming was completed, Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant announced that his new label was to be called Swan Song. For fear of legal action from the fiercely protective Grant, the label in the film was changed to Death Records, and everywhere the Swan Song logo appeared, optical effects were required to change the name.
The film was budgeted at 1.2 million dollars.
Regarded as a classic in France, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE played at a single theater in Paris for fifteen years.