Movie Details

This 1983 TV adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1908 novel Phantom of the Opera was the fourth film version of the vintage chiller--and the one with perhaps the highest rate of digression from the original novel. This version is set in Budapest (where it was filmed) rather than Paris, obliging scripter Sherman Yellen to change all the character names. Protagonist Maximillian Schell is an orchestra leader whose singer wife Jane Seymour commits suicide after receiving a devastatingly bad review. Assaulting the critic, Schell is burned with acid, and scurries away to the catacombs beneath the Budapest opera house. Years later, he has become the never-seen Phantom of the Opera, and from his shadowy "home" he is coaching an aspiring young singer--who is the living image of his late wife (Jane Seymour essays both roles). Not so much a remake as a revision, this 1983 Phantom of the Opera is perhaps the most obscure of all the versions, overshadowed by the 1990 two-part TV adaptation starring Michael Caine, as well as the smash Broadway musical. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi