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The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

Robert Englund , Jill Schoelen , Dwight H. Little  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Englund, Jill Schoelen, Alex Hyde-White, Bill Nighy, Stephanie Lawrence
  • Directors: Dwight H. Little
  • Writers: Duke Sandefur, Gaston Leroux, Gerry O'Hara
  • Producers: Deborah Del Prete, Eliezer Ben-Chorin, Gigi Pritzker, Harry Alan Towers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00062IVLM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,695 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Phantom of the Opera" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Widescreen anamorphic and full-screen formats
  • Original theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this house of music, evil strikes the final chord! Horror legend Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) assumes the classic role of the Phantom in this shocking, nerve-jangling retelling of Gaston LerouxÂ's timeless tale of music, madness and murder! An aspiring opera singer finds herself transported back to Victorian-era London – and into the arms of a reclusive, disfigured maestro determined to make her a star. The silver-throated Christine (Jill Schoelen) enjoys success through the arrangements of her new lover (Englund)Â...until she realizes that he has been committing unspeakably grisly murders in her honor and wonÂ't stop until heÂ's completed his masterpieceÂ blood!

Trading tragic romance for Faustian malevolence, the 1989 version of The Phantom of the Opera is a surprisingly good example of '80s horror. It was dismissed as gory trash by most critics (no doubt because Kevin Yagher's gruesome makeup effects are effectively revolting), but horror buffs will be more forgiving of this lush production, which ranks well above average for horror films of its time. Set in Victorian London and shot mostly in Budapest, Hungary (for period architecture), the film reunites director Dwight Little (Halloween 4) with "Freddie Krueger" himself, Robert Englund, who had worked together on the Nightmare on Elm Street-based TV series Freddie's Nightmares. It's a good pairing, as Englund does some of his finest work as the Phantom, seen here as a horribly disfigured composer who patches his scarred and mangled face with stitched-on flesh, and makes a deal with the devil to be immortalized through his music. His muse, as always, is the lovely diva-to-be Christine, and the casting of Jill Schoelen gives the film added cachet among genre fans (who will recognize her from the 1987 cult hit The Stepfather). While bearing little resemblance to Lon Chaney's 1925 classic, this Phantom is actually more loyal to Gaston Leroux's original novel, and therefore deserves as much acknowledgement as any other version of the story. Certainly not a classic, but well worth a look. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First and Only Gothic Slasher Film December 16, 2004
By Crypt
First off I rated this movie based on how much I enjoyed it... which is obviously quite a lot. The movie does have some inconsistencies and some acting that could have been better. (mostly in regards to American actors trying to sound British)
But if we're going to review this film fairly, we're going to have to quit comparing Englund's Phantom to Freddy. They have very little in common other than they're both hamburger-faced, viciously kill people and that they're played by the same actor. But what about the Phantom's one-liners in this film? Well, the Phantom is a bitter misanthrope, so that is where his hateful sarcasm comes from. Freddy's humor comes from the fact that he's gleefully toying with his victims. That said, I think this is a very interesting take on the Phantom legend. The story goes something like this; a young singer auditions for an Opera using a piece of music by an unknown composer, who also happened to be a murderer. She's hit in the head when a stagehand drops a sandbag and in a dream state experiences her past life in the 19th century London Opera. (the setting is changed from Paris to London, possibly to give the Phantom more of a "Jack the Ripper" edge) The familiar story then begins. Christine is tutored by her "Angel", becomes a big star and the Phantom then does anything and kills anyone to ensure her continuing success. The biggest differences in this film (besides its London setting) from the original story are that rather than being a genius born with a horrible deformity, the Phantom is a man who sold his soul to the devil for the immortality of his music. The price happened to be his face. He also gains supernatural powers and immortality for himself, as long as his music remains.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell is getting what you desire. October 13, 2004
I am so delighted that this is finally being released on DVD.

Of all the phantom films I have seen in my eleven years of being a Phantom phan (not counting the yet to be released 2004 Phantom movie based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical) this is my favorite movie version of all Phantom movies.

Some may balk at the changes to the story from the original novel, and others may be shocked at the gore and violence; and while this movie does reek of many cliches that many 80's horror films tend to (time travel, the occasional bad costume, and emotionless acting by some characters) there are still enough qualities to make this movie worth seeing.

Englund positively shines in his performance. I have heard many people simply pass this off as another "Freddy-esque" movie because of the makeup, but the similarities between Englund's most notorious screen character and the Phantom stops there. Englund's Phantom is enigmatic and horrifying, delightfully sarcastic and brooding, sweet at one moment and the murderously violent the next - in this he captures the heart of the original Phantom from Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel, despite what others might say. It is also the only film to date (at the time of this review) with the ever famous graveyard scene.

Englund's makeup also deserves props - this is the only version so far that has given any attempt to make the Phantom noseless as he was intended to be in the novel.

Misha Segal's score lends a haunting tone that weaves throughout the film, and mixed with the dramatic settings - the elaborate stage, the Phantom's lair strewn thick with candles - makes this film a definite must-see for anyone who loves Phantom or appreciates dark eye candy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Critics Beware! February 15, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
New capture of the horror film classic, this version is sometimes regarded as an attempt to cash in on Andrew Lloyd Webber's broadway production. However Duke Sandefur's script is highly original and well done, he creates the phantom as part of the opera "Faust" which is used in this version and many other versions. Director Dwight H. Little also captures some good and terrifying moments. For the most part, Robert Englund is the phantom, Erik Destler, a music artist who sold his soul to the devil for the world to love his opera talents. Unfortunatly the devil mutilated his face and the phantom then gets supernatural powers and haunts the London Opera House. Christine (Jill Scholen) is in present day New York looking for a piece of music to sing to get an audition for a broadway production, she comes across Erik's music and once she sings it, she is sucked back to 1881 London and is the understudy of the opera's Diva Carlotta, and the phantom coaches her to be the new star. Along the way, the phantom skins the stagehand, he takes on three thieves and even kills an opera critic in a sauna that critized Christine's performance. The film is somewhat bloody, but the film captures some impressive scenes including Christine at the graveyard, the phantom's lair, the masked ball and the opera house is very luxorious as well. Unfortunatly this version does not have the classic falling chandlier, but the unmasking is different, instead of a mask, the phantom ripps apart his face, and Christine also does it again at the end of the film, (two scenes which are very hideious). Misha Segal's music score is by far the best for any phantom film so far. His music for Don Juan Triumphant is magical, and his scores for the title theme, and the murder scenes are suspensful and terrifying. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Robert.
I love A Nightmare on Elm Street. I'm fairly fond of the operatic version of Phantom of the Opera. I do not love this. The tone is off, the story is jumbled. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Peter C. Gorman
3.0 out of 5 stars Phantom with a twist
It had an interesting storyline to it. I just found some of it had me less interested.
Published 7 days ago by Veronica Hollington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great DVD would have been better in blu ray.
Published 28 days ago by rjenkinson
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray is NOT REGION FREE
Not a problem for myself, and I'm a fan of the film, but for anyone without a region-free player, this disc won't play.
Published 6 months ago by Team Foreman
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas
I bought it for my grandson, Billy for Christmas because he asked for it and he loved it. One of his favorite gifts. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Beverly DiSant
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Phantom of the Opera fans!
I was very curious about watching this, because I had heard of it, but had never scene it. It is a very different interpretation if you are a fan of Andrew Lloyd Weber's opera... Read more
Published 13 months ago by J-Dog
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom
Not the musical everyone expects but a rather decent horror flick with an awesome plot. Stars Robert Englund who also plays freddy Krueger. its a good movie :)
Published 17 months ago by jonathansalaiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your traditional Phantom of the Opera
There is a little time travel, a creepy phantom, some beautiful music and a twist to the story that I rather enjoy. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anna Timm
4.0 out of 5 stars Animated 80s Film
I ordered this film once via Amazon, and even though the product had never been used or opened, the tracking on the tape was terrible. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Tessah Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
This movie is a very strange twist of the novel of the Phantom of the Opera! Robert Englund is great as Erik, any Phantom Phan needs to see this movie because is very cool!!
Published 18 months ago by Sabrina
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