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  • Jane Seymour and "Phantom" fans beware!!! This made for T. V. movie has to be the worst adaptation of the famous Gaston Leroux story filmed to date. Ms. Seymour plays two roles: Elena, a suicidal soprano, and Maria, a bitchy soprano. Maria (the Christine Daae character) hasn't one good quality about her, making the viewer wonder what the Phantom is so in love about. Michael York plays the equally irritating director of "Faust", the show that the opera company has been rehearsing for ever. In a nutshell, Ms. Seymour's hair gets bigger with each scene, her costumes look like a third rate community threatre production of "My Fair Lady" (...she usually looks so beautiful in period costumes!) and her lip-synching only works in wideshots. Mr. York's hair gets more and more like Orphan Annie's as the film progesses and his costumes look like Oscar Wilde's cast offs. The one redeeming moment in this film, is when the Phantom's face is finally shown. Stan Winston's make-up is quite good.

    I am a fan of both Jane Seymour AND "The Phantom of the Opera". After seeing this film, I just wanted to call her up and ask her why she made this!!!!
  • Contrairy to what everyone thinks this is not a bad film. While, true it isn't faithful to Leroux, and the acting can make you feel like your watching a soap opera from the seventies, it is still an interesting take on the story. Maximillion Schell does a wonderful job as the Phantom, Shandor Korvan who after losing his wife to suicide takes revenge on the Baron and his men who drove her to it and in the process of killing the critic has both acid drip on his face and is caught on fire. After being rescued by the city ratchacer, did I mention it takes place in Hungary not France, he slowly recovers all the while scheming, waiting for the chance to destroy the Baron. Then a Italian American girl named Maria, not Christine, who looks almost identical to his wife, comes to sing at the opera. Korvan thinks Maria is his wife returned to him in a different form and he trains her to sing like he wished he could have taught his wife to sing. in the meantime Maria falls in love with the director(played by Micheal York) , our Roul. In the end The phantom steals her, jealous of her love for the director. She unmasks him; the director rescues her, and then we come to where the movie gets bad. I think The Phantom is trying to find Maria but gets side tracked and decided to cut down the chandelier while he is on it, maybe he was committing suicide, but he sees Maria is under him and he yells for her to move as it falls in extreme slow motion. In fact its so slow everyone has time to move out of the way and the only one killed is the Phantom. Everyone is sad and the end. There's a lot of bad things about this film, hey its a TV movie, but the thing that redeems it all is the Unmasking scene. It is fantastic. The makeup effects for the Phantom's disfigurement is wonderful. It seems the one thing that they tried to keep accurate to the book is the Phantoms face. It doesn't even look like a burn; it looks congenital. He hardly has a nose, his skin is a nasty yellow and parchment-like, and he only has a few hanks of dark brown hair on sides of his head and on his forehead. His mask is great too, it is a black hood with a blue green full face mask over the face with a movable jaw. Now, about the unmasking, HE QUOTES LEROUX!!!! Maria even burns his mask like Christine does in the book. Schell performances as Shandor Korvan, the Phantom, is great. As Shandor he seems believable that he is mental unstable and when he becomes The Phantom he is completely insane after the loss of his wife and his body, remember his whole body gets burned. He plays the Phantom for Horror and sympathy, like Lon Chaney, and I think he would of been a great Erik in a Leroux based movie. He has the deep voice for it. What you really have to remember is to not compare it to the book. Like all Phantom movies its its own work of art. Just because it not exactly like the book, or what you think is the book, referring to the last summary.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It took forever to find and purchase, but I am glad to complete my 'Phantom of the Opera' collection with this. This is a wonderful adaptation. Sandor Korvin is now the Phantom, disfigured by acid as with several other film versions. The music, mostly from Gounod's 'Faust', adds a powerful backing to this film. There are tones of several stories, including Faust, Orpheus, and several other classics. Though it may begin different from the original story, it blends in wonderfully later on, almost becoming entirely from the Leroux original. And remember, without various adaptations, there would be no creativity in the world. The Phantom has yet to fail me.
  • This film is all that I could hope for and more! I am surprised that this great film is so under-rated. The music is beautiful, as is the young Jane Seymour, and Max a million Smell makes an excellent Phantom, especially with his mysterious deep voice. He makes his first appearance in the opening scene as the conductor with bed-head. This film has an excellent atmosphere and gothic mood. There is some of the most unique and original camera work that I've ever seen in this film. The film includes the masked ball and a finale that will keep you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding. When trying to find this film avoid the Canadian video release which mangles the movie terribly by rearranging scenes, and ultimately the film doesn't really make much sense. The film is occasionally available on eBay in a version that looks like the master has been dubbed from another, so the quality isn't very good, but it's still a really great film. I would love to see this film released on DVD.
  • I love this movie, is very close to the original novel, and the actors, Oscar winner, Maximillian Schell (from DEEP IMPACT)

    Jane Seymour (from Judgment AT NUREBERG) and Michael Your (from THE HAUNTING OF HELL HOUSE) are fantastic!

    The set was wonderful, and the music is good to! I think, Schell makes the most darkest and original Phantom, this time named Sandor Korvin, a deformed maestro, who lives on the catacombs below the Budapest Opera House.

    This is the best phantom, but why do not have it Oscars? This is the only disappointment thing. But this don't stops to make this film, not only the best, but with best actors of all!

    I really recommend "The Phantom of the Opera" of 1983 to any, one, I am saying, really any one! And remember this is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • heidihoe3714 October 2019
    Loved it. I grew up watching this and remember being terrified. Brings back fond memories. Wish it was on DVD
  • This was a horrible and disastrous version of Gaston Leroux's love story. There are now completely different characters, which means goodbye Erik Destler, goodbye Christine Daae, and goodbye Roaul de Chagny, and there is also a completely new storyline. Let me make the comparison.

    Gaston Leroux's Version of the Story:

    A hideously deformed "phantom" known as Erik Destler is born with facial deformity and distortion, which causes him to hide his face away in a mask. When he sets sights on the beautiful Christine Daae, a soprano at the Opera Populaire, he decides that he loves her and therefore teaches her to sing and gives her lessons daily. This is all well and good up until the point where Roaul de Chagny, a man who is also in love with Christine and was childhood sweethearts with her, comes into the picture. Then a love triangle forms and a war begins because of it.

    This Version of the Story:

    A man loses his wife to suicide after she receives a bad review, and as a result of his anger and frustration, he is burned in a chemical spill. The burn causes his face to appear horrifying and frightening, and he hides it away with a full face mask and returns as The Phantom of the Opera five years later to avenge his wife. He sets sights on a woman who possesses almost identical features of his wife and falls in love with her, but unfortunately, she already has a lover, which results in the final showdown.

    This version of the story is distorted and untrue, which brings the value of the movie down by far. It is also incredibly boring and slow-paced, and that's a lot to say coming from an obsessed freak of the story.

  • It is incomprehensible to me why some "writers" feel the compulsion to totally mess up a classic story by changing everything about the original that made it worthwhile in the first place. I long ago noticed an interesting parallel between 2 classic tragic romances, both set in Paris-- THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Each has been redone multiple times. In the case of HUNCHBACK, each time it seems to have been done with minor revisions, and generally, the results have been excellent. In the case of PHANTOM, each time it gets mutated further and further from the original, and while the results may be intriguing to behold, each version is like an entirely different story! So it was that the 1943 remake used the original merely as a springboard for what was really a Nelson Eddy-Jeannete McDonald musical-comedy, pushing the "real" star almost out of his own picture, and completely changing the back-story (while ironically restoring the original ending from the book-- but almost nothing else). And so it was that the 1963 Hammer version totally ignored the original, and used the famous and popular '43 version (my Dad saw it while in the army and LOVED it) as its springboard, to do the typical "Hammer" thing of "different for the sake of different", crafting a film where every single frame screams "Hammer" (was there ever a studio where the finished product was SO uniquely recognizable?). AND, so it was that this 1983 TV version appears to haphazardly take elements from ALL 3 previous films, and mix them together in a jumble that, while some bits seem nicely-done, others are just HORRIBLE, and the overall product is just a jumbled, at times nearly-incoherent MESS.

    Let's take the origin: from '43 we had a composer who was a sad, pathetic man to begin with, who mistakenly believed his compositions were being stolen from him. This led to the accident of his disfigurement. The '63 version changed this to an actual theft and called-for revenge that went terribly wrong. The '83 version changes the hero from composer to conductor-- and its his wife who's "stolen" from him rather than his music, and a critic's office rather than a print shop destroyed by fire.

    While there was some mysterious figure lurking in the underworld in the '25 version (and we never found out if he had ANY connection with the Phantom or not-- a wonderfully minor detail), the '63 version had both a rat-catcher and a sewer-living derelict. The derelict wound up causing The Phantom's death in the '63 film-- but, absurdly, in this one, he not only rescues the composer from the fire, he takes him down to the underworld in the first place, gives him the mask, shows him the maps of the catacombs-- in effect, this guy who never utters a single word of dialog CREATES the Phantom! I found this so annoying, and it reminded me of the similar absurdity of Sean Connery "teaching" Kevin Costner the ways of Chicago in Brian DePalma's deliriously misguided UNTOUCHABLES remake.

    I'm not sure what to make of Michael York's character in here-- he starts out likable, then turns into a heel, then winds up being the one who investigates and learns the truth about The Phantom, while the police inspector is merely a DOLT. The scene with the inspector's family merely makes all of them annoying, in a lame attempt at a comic interlude. (The inspector in the '25 film was that story's "hero"-- if you discount Erik himself, who despite his murderous antics was admirable right to the end, when justice and a murderous mob caught up with him.) The whole thing completely falls apart in the last half-hour, after The Phantom kidnaps Maria. After going to such lengths to make her the success his wife wasn't able to be, he suddenly changes his mind for no apparent reason and wants to keep her "safe" while the vicious Prima Donna he earlier drove away COMES BACK. Then, after Maria is rescued (with relatively little fanfare), and the conductor and inspector plot to trap The Phantom (HOW?), he decides to cut the chandelier loose (a bit predicted much, much earlier in the film in one of the worst and most awkward bits of foreshadowing I have ever seen). Cutting the chandelier at this point makes no sense-- and he does it so badly (in a horrible exercise of "slow-motion" to boot), that nobody gets killed except himself. This Phantom is not only insane, he's incompetent as well.

    My recommendation to anyone interested in these films is, START here-- then work your way backward to 1963, then 1943, then 1925. If you do, EACH version you watch GETS BETTER. My admiration for the '25 version-- the ONLY one that even attempts to do the book-- has steadily increased over the years with every viewing. Even more so since I got my hands on the video with the Rick Wakeman score. (Some might find that bordering on blasphemy-- but I've come to love the music so much, and it managed to make what was already my #1 favorite silent film even more enjoyable.)
  • I was younger when I saw this, before I saw any other version, maybe, and definitely before I read the book. I remember a scene with a quote that has come back to me powerfully. The phantom comes into the room with the young singer to meet her for the first time after watching her rehearse many times. He says to her, "The mask frightens you? The mask protects you!"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This TV film of the novel by Gaston Leroux won't win any awards but it's still worth seeing. Maximillan Schell is good but he tends to ham it up a little, especially when he becomes the Phantom. The makeup job is pretty scary. I shalln't divulge any details but it's worth waiting for. A number of changes to the original story: the setting being that of Budapest instead of Paris; the Phantom being married before fate intervenes and the title role being about as unsympathetic as can be. The scale of the production is actually quite small. There aren't many expansive camera shots on location and the sets look a bit cramped (apart from the ones for the Opera house and the Phantom's lair). I am not a fan of either Jane Seymour or Michael York, they bloody well irritate me! The former comes across as aloof and arrogant. The latter seems boorish and rigid. I can't understand why Seymour was cast in two roles which are practically identical. There is nothing in the way of differentiating between the two. Jeremy Kemp is effective as the sleazy, devious Opera house manager. A great performance. The climax isn't too bad, if somewhat depressing. This version isn't in the same league of greatness as the 1925 film.
  • mcornett4 January 2005
    I wonder why so typically French a story was transferred to Budapest. In the novel, the opera house is as much a star of the story as the characters. It makes no sense to shift the story.

    The acting is OK at best and often quite silly. Overall this is a rather cheezy and lame attempt at the story, with the usual attempts to rewrite and revise the story.

    I often wish that someone would attempt a version that is truer to the original book, even though it was penny-dreadful claptrap. All too often they try to make the Phantom so sympathetic that they lose sight of his psychopathic side. However, in the original novel Christine is such a stupid drip that she does get quite annoying.
  • 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.