Phantom Of The Paradise

1974, Movie, PG, 91 mins

Review

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A better rock'n'roll parody than THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and one of director Brian De Palma's more original efforts, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE combines elements of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and the Faust legend into a fairly entertaining, but only sporadically successful, horror-musical comedy. Finley is an unknown songwriter whose best composition is stolen by the evil and unscrupulous record producer Williams, who wants to use it as the basis for a new "sound" with which to open his glittery rock palace, the Paradise. Finley accuses Williams of the theft, but the record producer frames the songwriter on a phony drug charge and has him thrown into prison. When the song becomes a hit, the angry Finley breaks out of jail and plans revenge. In the process, he suffers a horrible accident and is scarred for life. Because of his hideous visage, he's forced to wear a bizarre helmet and a black cape as he creeps about the Paradise to find Williams. While some of the attacks on the music industry, "glitter" rock, and popular success are right on target, the film suffers from a bad pace and overly complicated script that tries to comment on far too many aspects of pop culture to nail down even one of them. The film's production design and set direction were done by the husband-and-wife team of Jack Fisk and Sissy Spacek. Just two years later, Spacek, who had already appeared in a couple of films (PRIME CUT; BADLANDS), would become a star as the lead in De Palma's CARRIE. Songs include "Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye," "Faust," "Upholstery," "Special to Me," "Old Souls," "Somebody Super Like You," "Life at Last," "The Hell of It," "The Phantom's Theme (Beauty and the Beast)" (Williams, Tipton). Tipton and Williams received an Oscar nomination for their scoring. leave a comment

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