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The Phantom of the Opera

should be respected for it's faithful unmasking
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.

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