Reviews of The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and related work
- Same source material: Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Unlike the original story, and more enduring interpretations of it, this version of the phantom is genuinely and only an evil monster, not a romantic outsider or bad boy. In 2012, there is something almost refreshing about the superficiality and intolerance of this ludicrous plot, but the craftsmanship seemed mediocre in the terribly degraded copy I saw.
‣ Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Seen in 2019.
A composer is snubbed, defanged and bricked up by the evil music industry.
Horror comedy. It’s not just a version of The Phantom of the Opera (1909); it’s also The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) with a bit of Frankenstein (1818) and its movie versions, with the showbiz violence of Greaser’s Palace (1972) along with a few quick homages to Touch of Evil (1958), The Manchurian Candidate (1962) etc. At the same time it’s a literate and profane rock-opera pastiche about the evils of the music industry, prefiguring Joe’s Garage (1979). Gerrit Graham is absolutely magnificent as Beef.