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Phantom of the Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise

1974 / 91min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: BRIAN DE PALMA

CAST: WILLIAM FINLEY, PAUL WILLIAMS, JESSICA HARPER, GERRIT GRAHAM

SCREENPLAY - BRIAN DE PALMA
MUSIC - PAUL WILLIAMS
PRODUCTION DESIGN - JACK FISK

De Palma outdoes The Rocky Horror Picture Show in operatic, comic-horror-musical excess—a year before Rocky Horror was even made. This neat update of The Phantom of the Opera was initially overlooked upon release (save for Vancouver, where it was an immediate sensation—look it up!), but is now a universally recognized masterpiece of creative insanity. William Finley plays an idealistic singer-songwriter who takes elaborate revenge on a diabolical record executive—played by none other than Paul Williams, who wrote the film’s toe-tapping, Oscar-nominated song score. Highlights include Jessica Harper singing and lunge-dancing; De Palma’s first Psycho shower-scene homage, but with a toilet plunger; and a literally electrifying on-stage performance by a glam rock god named Beef (De Palma regular Gerrit Graham).