The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

R | 93 mins | Horror, Romance | 3 November 1989

Director:

Dwight H. Little

Writer:

Duke Sandefur

Producer:

Harry Alan Towers

Cinematographer:

Elemer Ragalyi

Production Designer:

Tivadar Bertalan

Production Company:

Breton Film Productions
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HISTORY

The following statement appears before beginning credits: “Pray for them who giveth their immortal soul unto Satan… For each is damned to relive that wretched life…through all times. St. Jean Vitius of Rouen, written the day of his execution March 7, 1544.”
       The following written statements appear in end credits: “The producers would like to thank: A.S.T. Sound; Steinburger Guitars; Gibson Guitars; A.C. Music; Rogue Music; Manny’s Music; David Pogue; David S. Rose,” and “This motion picture is not associated with any current or prior stage production or motion picture of the same title.”
       There is no St. Jean Vitius of Rouen on the list of Roman Catholic saints.
       The film is based on the novel Le fantome de l'opéra by Gaston Leroux (Paris, 1910),however, the novel took place in Paris, France, not London, England.
       A 13 Jul 1989 Hollywood Drama-Logue news item stated that picture was filmed in Hungary.
       According to a 17 Aug 1989 DV article, The Phantom of the Opera, was 21st Century Film Corporation’s first theatrical feature film.
       James Spitz was scheduled to handle distribution of The Phantom of the Opera, but Columbia Pictures would not allow him to break their contract as their president of domestic distribution.
       The 8 Nov 1989 DV reported that the film cost $2.8 million to produce. Various presale rights garnered $5 million and the film grossed $2.5 million on its opening weekend.
       For information on other versions of The Phantom of the Opera, please consult the entry for the 1943 Universal release Phantom of the Opera.
...

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The following statement appears before beginning credits: “Pray for them who giveth their immortal soul unto Satan… For each is damned to relive that wretched life…through all times. St. Jean Vitius of Rouen, written the day of his execution March 7, 1544.”
       The following written statements appear in end credits: “The producers would like to thank: A.S.T. Sound; Steinburger Guitars; Gibson Guitars; A.C. Music; Rogue Music; Manny’s Music; David Pogue; David S. Rose,” and “This motion picture is not associated with any current or prior stage production or motion picture of the same title.”
       There is no St. Jean Vitius of Rouen on the list of Roman Catholic saints.
       The film is based on the novel Le fantome de l'opéra by Gaston Leroux (Paris, 1910),however, the novel took place in Paris, France, not London, England.
       A 13 Jul 1989 Hollywood Drama-Logue news item stated that picture was filmed in Hungary.
       According to a 17 Aug 1989 DV article, The Phantom of the Opera, was 21st Century Film Corporation’s first theatrical feature film.
       James Spitz was scheduled to handle distribution of The Phantom of the Opera, but Columbia Pictures would not allow him to break their contract as their president of domestic distribution.
       The 8 Nov 1989 DV reported that the film cost $2.8 million to produce. Various presale rights garnered $5 million and the film grossed $2.5 million on its opening weekend.
       For information on other versions of The Phantom of the Opera, please consult the entry for the 1943 Universal release Phantom of the Opera.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1989
p. 1, 14
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1989
---
Hollywood Drama-Logue
13 Jul 1989
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1989
p. 4
New York Times
4 Nov 1989
p. 12
Variety
8 Nov 1989
p. 36
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
21st Century Film Corporation Presents
a Menahem Golan Production
The Phantom of the Opera, a Menahem Golan Production
in association with Breton Film Productions, Ltd.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
Key 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
3d asst dir
3d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Line prod, New York
Line prod, New York
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on a screenplay by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, New York
2d unit cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
Focus puller
Focus puller
Gaffer
Grip
Stills photog
ART DIRECTORS
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed - U.S.
2d asst ed - Hungary
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Const mgr
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst costume des
Ward supv
Ward master
Ward cutter
Ward cutter
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Opera dir
Mus supv
Mus supv for 21st Century
Asst mus ed
Mus rec by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd supv ed
Sd eff des
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley walker
Foley walker
ADR voices
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Post prod sd ed facilities provided by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Pyrotechnician
Title des
Main titles and opticals
DANCE
Choreog
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup eff created by
Makeup eff created and des by
Makeup eff crew, Kevin Yagher Productions, Inc.
Makeup eff crew, Kevin Yagher Productions, Inc.
Makeup eff crew, Kevin Yagher Productions, Inc.
Makeup eff crew, Kevin Yagher Productions, Inc.
Addl prosthetic makeup eff created and des by
Supv, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Prod mgr, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Loc makeup eff, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Loc makeup eff, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Lab tech, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Lab tech, Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Makeup supv
Principal makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Casting consultant
U.K. casting
Prod supv for 21st Century
U.S. prod coord
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
21st Century U.K. exec
Asst U.S. prod coord
Unit pub
Extras coord
Prod acct/Secy
Prod secy
Transportation mgr
Prod post supv
N.Y. prod services provided by
Unit prod supv, New York
STAND INS
Stunt coord
The Phantom's stunt double
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Le fantome de l'opéra by Gaston Leroux (Paris, 1910).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Faust," by Charles Gounod, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, courtesy of Philips Records, a division of Polygram Classics, the role of MEPHISTOPHELES sung by Yevgeny Nesterenko, the role of FAUST sung by Francisco Araiza, courtesy of Polygram Records; "Good Lookin'," music by Misha Segal, lyrics by Harriet Schock.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera
Release Date:
3 November 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 Nov 1989; New York opening: week of 4 Nov 1989
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
21st Century Productions, N.V.
26 January 1990
PA456684
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ulta-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29949
SYNOPSIS

Opera singer Christine Daaé visits her friend Meg at a music library where they find a song written by a little known composer, Erik Destler, who was allegedly a psychopathic killer in London in the nineteenth century. Destler disappeared the night an opera singer he was obsessed with was found murdered. On further investigation, Christine discovers a charred copy of “Don Juan Triumphant,” Destler’s complete opera. As she sings its opening lines, the binder begins to bleed. However, when Meg yells that the library is closing, Christine is shocked to find the score is clean. The next day, Christine auditions using Destler’s score. Her performance causes even the stage hands to take notice. As she reaches the crescendo, a sandbag comes loose in the flier above the stage and hits her. As she loses consciousness, she hears Destler’s voice calling her to come back to him. When she regains consciousness, Christine is on a nineteenth century London stage with a different “Meg” leaning over her while Joseph, a stage hand, apologizes for dropping the sandbag. La Carlotta, the company’s Diva, lambasts the stage manager for the company’s unprofessionalism and refuses to perform. Meg informs Christine that as Carlotta’s understudy, she might have to step in. Deep below the theatre, a deformed Destler sews skin onto his face and uses makeup up to hide his hideous scars while staring at a photograph of Christine. He climbs to the theatre catwalk where he hears Joseph telling his colleagues it was the “Phantom” who caused the accident that almost killed Christine. Destler follows him to the top ...

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Opera singer Christine Daaé visits her friend Meg at a music library where they find a song written by a little known composer, Erik Destler, who was allegedly a psychopathic killer in London in the nineteenth century. Destler disappeared the night an opera singer he was obsessed with was found murdered. On further investigation, Christine discovers a charred copy of “Don Juan Triumphant,” Destler’s complete opera. As she sings its opening lines, the binder begins to bleed. However, when Meg yells that the library is closing, Christine is shocked to find the score is clean. The next day, Christine auditions using Destler’s score. Her performance causes even the stage hands to take notice. As she reaches the crescendo, a sandbag comes loose in the flier above the stage and hits her. As she loses consciousness, she hears Destler’s voice calling her to come back to him. When she regains consciousness, Christine is on a nineteenth century London stage with a different “Meg” leaning over her while Joseph, a stage hand, apologizes for dropping the sandbag. La Carlotta, the company’s Diva, lambasts the stage manager for the company’s unprofessionalism and refuses to perform. Meg informs Christine that as Carlotta’s understudy, she might have to step in. Deep below the theatre, a deformed Destler sews skin onto his face and uses makeup up to hide his hideous scars while staring at a photograph of Christine. He climbs to the theatre catwalk where he hears Joseph telling his colleagues it was the “Phantom” who caused the accident that almost killed Christine. Destler follows him to the top of the rigging, stabs the man and tosses the body over the side. Later, standing outside Christine’s window and hidden in the shadows, Destler orders Christine to sing the lead role in the opera. When she finishes, he declares the world will soon hear her. Meanwhile, Martin Barton, owner of the opera, visits Carlotta to present her with a new contract, but Carlotta will only sign if Christine is demoted to the chorus. After Barton leaves in a huff, Carlotta opens an armoire to discover a now-skinless Joseph. She screams so loud she loses her voice. Outside, Barton discusses the theatre’s budget with his partner, Richard Dutton, and complains that he found a monthly debit of three hundred pounds with no receipt. Richard explains this, and a reserved theatre box on opening nights, are payment to the Phantom. They go inside, and are stunned when the stage manager appears on stage to announce Carlotta is being replaced by Christine. Barton is convinced Carlotta is holding out for more money. Although Richard insists Christine’s voice is superior, he goes to speak to Carlotta. Upon reaching the dressing room, he discovers Inspector Hawking viewing Joseph’s skinless body. When his assistant, Davies, blames it on the Phantom, Hawking observes that ghosts do not skin their victims. Upstairs, as the opera Faustus begins, Destler enters his box, careful to remain hidden in the shadows. While watching the performance, Destler recalls playing piano in a brothel. A dwarf appears and offers him the secret of music in exchange for his soul. Destler agrees and the dwarf touches his face, causing it to burn and melt. Explaining the world will love Destler only for his music, the dwarf forces a ring onto Destler’s finger declaring he is wed to the devil. Destler’s thoughts are interrupted when Christine takes the stage and sings. As the audience explodes into applause, Destler leaves the theater and finds a prostitute that looks like Christine. Across town, Christine sups with Richard, explaining that her dead father sent her an “Angel” to teach her to sing. Although she has never seen his face, her angel is why she is so gifted. A few tables away, Barton convinces Harrison, a noted critic, not to praise Christine in his review as he needs to promote Carlotta. Although Harrison thought Christine was brilliant, he agrees to give her a bad review. The next morning, Harrison enters a steam room in a Turkish bath and is confronted by Destler, who is swathed in towels to hide his face. When the critic refuses to change his opinion about Christine, Destler kills him. Distressed by Harrison’s review, Christine visits her father’s grave and cries over her failure. Hearing a violin, she looks up to see Destler playing in the shadows. He tells Christine he is her “angel of music” and if she wishes to fulfill her destiny, she must get into his carriage. Richard arrives at the cemetery, finds the gates locked and calls for Christine. Picking music over love, Christine jumps into the carriage and is driven off. Taking Christine to his rooms beneath the opera house, Destler promises to teach her the “meaning” of music. She finds his unfinished opera and insists he play it for her. She sings along, unaware that a rat catcher in a nearby sewer hears them. When Destler asks how she could know the words, a confused Christine can only say she sang them before. Insisting that Christine is his muse, Destler forces the ring the dwarf gave him onto her finger, declaring she is wed to the music and he is the music. When she leaves, Destler removes his wig, dentures, nose and skin from his scarred face. Meanwhile, Richard finds Hawking and reports Christine’s disappearance. The inspector informs him Destler is living under the opera house, but scoffs at Richard when he is told that, according to legend, the Phantom can only be killed when his music is destroyed. Later, Christine learns of the critic’s death. Fearing for Richard’s safety, she sends him a note requesting he meet her at a masquerade ball that evening. She tries to remove the Phantom’s ring, but finds it will not come off. At the ball, Christine confesses she loves Richard, who leaves to find a coach to take them away, unaware that Destler, dressed as Death, overhears them. Destler cuts into a dance between Barton and Carlotta. Seducing the diva, Destler takes her into another room and strangles her. Hawking arrives at the party and is informed by the rat catcher of the location of Destler’s subterranean lair, just as a buffet is wheeled into the hall. A waiter opens a tureen to reveal Carlotta’s severed head. As the partygoers panic, Destler drags Christine down to his chambers. Throwing her onto his bed, he reveals his true face and tells Christine she can never leave. Hearing his pursuers enter the sewers, Destler locks Christine in his chambers and goes to confront them. He finds the rat catcher and impales him on an exposed rod, then kills a policeman and Davies before returning to his chamber. He lures Richard and Hawking to him by playing the organ. When they arrive, Destler pushes Hawking down a flight of stairs, then puts a knife to Christine’s throat, but Richard shoots it out of his hand. Destler leaps on Christine’s lover, knocking him into candelabra, igniting his clothes. Christine pushes over more candles, setting the chamber’s furnishings on fire, then recovers Richard’s pistol. Destler declares that only love and music are eternal before Christine shoots him. He grabs her hand, but Hawking reappears and shoots him twice in the back. As he falls, Destler accidentally tears the ring from Christine’s finger and watches in horror as she is engulfed in flames. Christine awakens, now in the twentieth century, to find Mr. Foster, the show’s producer who is Destler hidden beneath a latex mask, helping her to her feet. Foster announces he is casting Christine in the leading role for his opera. Later, Foster takes Christine home. While he changes his clothes, Christine finds a score and computer disc of “Don Juan Truimphant.” When she turns on the music, Destler reappears and explains he has been waiting for her to be reincarnated and demands she choose between love and music. She reaches up to embrace him, then tears off his latex mask, revealing his true face, before stabbing him with a nearby knife. She rips up the sheet music and breaks the disc. With his music destroyed, Destler dies.






      





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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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