• Warning: Spoilers
    Robert Markowitz: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1983) made for TV movie.

    Story is set in Budapest after the First World War. The vile opera manager doesn't get the newest soprano to his bed so he arranges a critical review of her performance. Soprano drowns herself, feeling she has betrayed her conductor husband Sandor Korvin. Korvin goes mad, kills the publisher of the review but also gets burned in the face by acid. Rat catcher hides him beneath the opera house. Four years later Maria, the exact replica of Korvin's wife, comes to sing to the opera. Both Phantom and Michael, the new director, falls in love with her.

    This kind of story became a great Gothic romance in Dracula (1992). Unfortunately it gets wasted here. Director seems to have no skill whatsoever. The dark opera house provides good surrounding but he doesn't use them in any part. Also cast is totally wasted. Maximilian Schell (Sandor Korvin/The Phantom) is a great actor with a deep haunting voice but he seems to be in this only for money. Jane Seymoure (Maria/Elena) I think has never had any acting talent and this isn't exception. Even Jeremy Kemp as the opera manager fails to give same kind of a slimy villain as Michael Gough in 1962 version. So it is Michael York (Michael) who steals to show and is the only enjoyable thing here.

    Last word: avoid at all cost! Unless you're die hard York fan.