Phantom Variations

The Adaptations of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera, 1925 to the Present

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About the Book

This book examines the themes and variations of Phantom of the Opera, exploring the story’s appeal to multiple generations through numerous incarnations. After discussing Gaston Leroux’s original 1910 novel, the work turns first to Phantom on film from Lon Chaney’s 1925 Phantom through Dario Argento’s 1998 film. Stage versions of Phantom are then covered in detail, including Webber’s spectacular 1986 production and its lesser-known predecessors and competitors, and those that followed. A final section looks at novels and miscellaneous adaptations ranging from erotic fiction to a Donald Barthelme short story.

About the Author(s)

Ann C. Hall is a professor in the English department at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. She also serves as president of the Harold Pinter Society.

Bibliographic Details

Ann C. Hall
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4265-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5377-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Introduction: The Skull Beneath the Skin      1

1. MASKING AND UNMASKING: GASTON LEROUX’S ORIGINAL PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1910)      13

2. DARKNESS MADE VISIBLE: THE PHANTOM ON FILM      33

Defining the Phantom: Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera (1925)      35

The Feminist Phantom: Claude Rains’s Phantom of the Opera (1943)      48

Taming of the Phantom: Hammer Films’ Wholesome Phantom of the Opera (1962)      56

Phabulous Phantom: Brian De Palma’s Glam Rock Parody The Phantom of the Paradise (1974)      63

Decoys in the Danube: The TV Miniseries of Phantom of the Opera (1983)      72

Nightmare at the Opera: Freddy Krueger Meets The Phantom of the Opera (1989)      78

Red Phantom: Ronny Yu’s Chinese The Phantom Lover (1995)      83

“When You Hear My Thoughts, You’ll Know Where to Go”: Dario Argento’s Handsome Phantom (1998)      89

3. SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE: STAGE VERSIONS OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA      95

The Precursor Phantom: Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera (1984)      96

Phantom Rivalries: Arthur Kopit’s Forgotten Phantom on Stage (1991) and Screen (1990)      101

Kopit’s Phantom: The Television Version      111

Spectacular Phantom: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom on Stage (1986) and Screen (2004)      116

The 2004 Film Version of the Lloyd Webber Musical      125

That Phantom in Vegas      129

Phantom of the Midwest: John Kenley and Robert Thomas Noll’s Phantom of the Opera (1988)      130

A Phunny Phantom: The Pinchpenny Phantom of the Opera (1988)      133

Flexible Phantom: Bruce Falstein’s Phantom of the Opera (1990)      135

The Invisible Phantom: Joseph Robinette and Robert Chauls’s Phantom of the Opera (1992)      139

4. VARIATIONS ON THE THEME: NOVELS AND MISCELLANEOUS VERSIONS OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA      143

The Romantic Phantom: Susan Kay’s Phantom (1991)      146

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple: Frederick Forsyth’s The Phantom of Manhattan (1999)      153

A Chapter Book Phantom: R.L. Stine’s Phantom of the Auditorium (1994)      159

A Steamy Phantom: Colette Gale’s Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of “The Phantom of the Opera” (2007)      161

Phantom of the Short Story: Donald Barthelme’s “The Phantom of the Opera’s Friend” (1981)      168

Conclusion: The Phantom’s Future      171

Notes      179

Bibliography      183

Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating reading”—ARBA; “engaging and incredibly informative…will be of interest to any Phantom fan”—Rue Morgue.