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4.6 out of 5 stars
Phantom of the Paradise [Blu-ray]
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2002
I first saw this movie in the 70s as a double bill with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", which was the film I actually went to see. I'd never heard of "Phantom" before, but enjoyed it far more than "TRHPS". The movie is best described as a black comedy/theatrical rock/horror/fantasy, you'll see what I mean. Based loosely around the "Phantom Of The Opera" story and the legend of "Faust", but in a modern (70's) rock setting. Directed by the now legendary Brian De Palma, he brings excellent performances from Paul Williams (deminutive American singer/songwriter, best known in the UK for the "Bugsy Malone" score) as the villan, Gerrit Graham as the brilliantly camp character "Beef", and William Finley as the "Phantom" (how anyone can convey such emotion with just one eye showing still amazes me). De Palma also uses his split screen technique to good effect. Looks very dated, but apparently a cult classic now (I thought it was just me). This is a movie you'll love or hate. Definately different. Hope this was helpful to you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2014
*****THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE ARROW BLU-RAY******************

Picked this up directly from Arrows site in order to get it early. I've been a big fan of this film for many years. Phantom is a psychedelic rock opera that fuses Phantom of the Opera, Faust and the picture of Dorian Grey together with an excellent soundtrack from Paul Williams, who also appears as the villainous record Executive Swann.

Swann steals naive songwriter Winslow Leach's work and has him framed and sent to prison. After escaping he becomes horribly disfigured 'phantom' who haunts Swann's club the Paradise, sabotaging giggs and trying to further the career of the girl he loves, Phoenix (Jessica Harper) The whole film uses its dark faustian storyline to take major swipes at the money men who take artists work and corrupt it in order to make money. While the films plot seems to mainly be aimed at the music industry it could easily apply to film. Swann not only steals Leach's work and identity but in one memorable scene even steals his voice. The music is excellent and the whole film holds up well to this day. Certainly in my opinion it even gives Tommy a run for its money!

Arrows Blu-ray release looks and sounds excellent. It's loaded with bonus features from a previous French release. It's important to note here that the French documentary has clips from the film that look too bright and lacking in detail suggesting that Arrow may have even gone back to the source material and improved things somewhat. So if you already have that French release it might be worth considering ditching it for this. It also has a new bonus feature as well, a conversation between Guillermo Del Toro and Paul Williams that is also very interesting to watch and new to this Arrow release.

Overall then I would say this is well worth checking out. The film is certainly very different to a lot of DePalma's other films but really delivers the goods. You certainly won't see anything like it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2006
If you have slipped upon this out of curiousity make sure you click and buy it now. Featuring tremendous direction, great performances and superb songs this is the movie Rocky Horror wishes it was. Great fun
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2004
Great film, great soundtrack (be wary of the CD though, see my review on that) A brilliant satire on the Rock industry mixed with a touch of Phantom of the Opera and possibly just a nod to The Rocky Horror Show. Well worth buying for "Beefs" antics alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise is really unlike anything you have ever seen. Think Phantom of the Opera but with a rock funk 70s fusion and you're getting close. But not close enough. The Phantom is played by the late great William Finley whose music career aspirations get sold down the river by the seemingly evil Simon Cowellesque Swan played brilliantly by Paul Williams. Swan is obeyed and loved by EVERYONE, but is a real weasel and with those glowing locks of hair, his small height and that cheeky smile that a million dollars could not buy, Williams fits the part perfectly. He needs the Phantom's music, but he also needs rid of him.

The beautiful Jessica Harper who is perfect here plays Phantom's would be lover, but turns to the darkside quick enough- what does the Phantom have to live for? Well he could stick around and watch B movie hero Gerrit Graham bang out a few pumping tracks of his own.

Completely over the top, razzamatazz, but the film never loses its grip and its sense of being a very great film. Not for everyone, but for the rest of us, Phantom of the Paradise deserves our attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2014
Loved this movie for years. A great transfer and some fantastic extras. A wonderful addition to my shelves. Looks Good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2014
I remember seeing this on first release. It's even better with the benefit of hindsight. Pure 70's musical madness. Good extras package too.
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on 9 January 2015
This is the best of Arrow's excellent Brian De Palma Blu-ray releases so far. This gloriously inventive and colourful musical has never looked and sounded better. Paul Williams' genius songs, Jessica Harper's beauty (and great singing voice!), Gerrit Graham's hilarious Beef...all shine as never before. Why De Palma never attempted another musical is beyond me, his flamboyant visual style is perfectly suited to the medium. All this and you get a bucketload of extras and lengthy full-colour booklet. Thank you Arrow!
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on 27 March 2011
In the top 5 of my all time favourite movies. It is just perfect. Acting, music, use of the split screen, pace, balance of the quiet and action scenes. Seen it about 60 times. The best DVD version of the movie is the french one (By Opening), but the other ones are OK. If you have not seen it, you are a lucky person, it will leave you happy as uou heve never been. A must!!!!!
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A Brilliant Musical that's up there with The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the Best ever Made.The Music numbers Are Great as are the performances particularly Paul Williams and Gerrit Graham.Brian De palma might not show it very often but DAMN! does He have a Great sense of comic timing and Humour.
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