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"Movies That Matter"
Brian De Palma's "Phantom of The Paradise" 1974
 

 

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A Video FilmBook (Under Construction)

Now that Brian De Palma, the acclaimed director of "Carrie", "Body Double", "The Untouchables", and "Dressed to Kill" has made his penultimate piece de resistance with "Femme Fatale", I thought it would be fitting to revisit the film which got me excited about him in the first place. Since I don't have a laserdisc of the title, and a DVD hasn't been released as of this writing, I had to rely on that old standby, Tivo, to record the movie from the Fox Movie Classics channel on the DirecTV, and download the images into the computer (by way of an S-VHS cable and the Windows XP "MovieMaker" software.)

The results can be seen on these pages. I am, as usual, thankful for the wonderful Forrest J. Ackerman "FilmBooks" in the original "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine, which inspired in me the idea of presenting a movie in "stills" or "captures" from a good source. Hopefully, with some time and patience, I will eventually put a great deal of images and text concerning not only this wonderful film, but many other Movies That Matter. The best way to experience a film is through it's images, and since I am dealing with copyrighted images, I give full credit to the makers of the film in the Cast and Crew column to the left.
Michael F. Nyiri
poet, philosopher, fool, and film historian

6/30/03

 

 


We are about to embark on a journey to the state of rock and roll music, circa 1974. That is when Swan, the demigod of popular music, the man responsible for fueling the then current nostalgia craze, embodied in his group "The Juicy Fruits", is about to find out that his female singer is not in his stable anymore, and he needs to find a replacement.

The show opens with the rousing "Goodbye", sung by "The Juicy Fruits." Singers Harold Oblong, Jeffery Commonor, and Archie Hahn cavort around the stage of Swan's nightclub, irrespectful of any hint of decency. Upstairs, in his private box, the omnipresent Swan, meets with his right hand man, Arnold Philbin.

Arnold lets him know that he will need to employ a new female singing sensation. As the conversation progresses, the Juicy Fruits finish their set, and Winslow Leach, an aspiring singer songwriter and the musician who performs in between the regular sets, begins to sing one of the songs in his unfinished musical treatment of "Faust", "Stand by Me". "Listen", cautions Swan, off camera, with a wave of his hand, ceasing the tirade of the slimy Arnold, played with panache by George Memmoli. Swan has found the music, at least, for his new find.

In the first of many signature DePalmaround shots, pianist Winslow Leach emphatically sings "Dream that Never Ends" from his rock opera, "Faust", while the Juicy Fruits take five. He isn't particularly talented, but Swan takes notice of the excellent music.

Paul Williams as Swan, as he enters the "Orgy Scene" at the auditions for the female lead for "Faust", his opus rock opera stolen from Winslow.

"I'm Innocent, I've Been Framed" screams Winslow as he is sentenced to Sing Sing for allegedly "selling" planted drugs to Swan.

"Never", screams a decidedly different Winslow, upon hearing his "Faust" sung by the Juicy Fruits on Swan's Death Label.

CAST & CREW

Paul Williams (III) .... Swan/Leach's singing voice
William Finley (I) .... Winslow Leach/The Phantom
Jessica Harper .... Phoenix
George Memmoli .... Arnold Philbin, Swan's chief henchman
Gerrit Graham .... Beef
Archie Hahn .... Juicy Fruits
Jeffrey Commanor .... Juicy Fruits
Harold Oblong .... Juicy Fruits
Colin Cameron (I) .... Band
David Garland (I) .... Band
Gary Mallaber .... Band
Art Munson .... Band
Mary Margaret Amato .... Swan's Entourage
Rand Bridges .... Swan's Entourage
James Bohan (I) .... Swan's Entourage

Produced by
Michael Arciaga .... associate producer
Gustave M. Berne .... executive producer
Jeffrey M. Hayes .... associate producer
Paul Lewis (I) .... associate producer
Edward R. Pressman .... producer
Lynn Raymond .... assistant producer
Bill Scott (III) .... associate producer

Original Music by
George Aliceson Tipton
Paul Williams (III)

Cinematography by
Larry Pizer

Film Editing by
Paul Hirsch (I)

Casting by
Sylvia Fay
Gino Havens
Peggy Taylor (II)

Production Design by
Jack Fisk

Costume Design by
Rosanna Norton

Makeup Department
John Chambers (I) .... makeup designer
Rolf Miller .... makeup artist
Anna Sugano .... hair stylist

info from IMDB

 


The Blog Diary

 

The Personal webhub of Michael F. Nyiri ©, The Box Office© 1999-2003 MikeVideo Enterprises and Michael F. Nyiri. All original reviews, essays, poetry, and art are copyrighted, and cannot be used without permission. The author is pleased to see his words on the pages distributed by others, but only if permission is granted. Most images taken from IMDB.com site and thieir prodigious database of photos. Other poster images taken from various sites. Popular cultural and news images are taken from the internet in general, and no copyright enfringement is implied by the use of these images. Some images used in composites might be copyright, but all attempts to identify and credit all images is ongoing. If you see words or images that are not credited correctly, please email the webmaster.

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