Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 American musical rock opera horror comedy film written and directed by Brian De Palma, and scored by and starring Paul Williams. In the film, a disfigured composer writes his music for a woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, a record producer betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise. Betrayed, the composer dons a new appearance and exacts revenge on the producer. It co-stars William Finley and Jessica Harper.
The story is a loosely adapted mixture of several classic European works: Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Faust by Goethe/Christopher Marlowe.
Initially, the film was a box office failure and received negative reviews, however it earned praise for its music, receiving Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Over the years, the film has received much more positive reviews and has become a cult film.
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Phantom of the Paradise has regularly been referenced by Daft Punk, citing it as one of their biggest influences. In the Times, Thomas Bangalter described it as “our favorite film, the foundation for a lot of what we’re about artistically.” He and Guy admitted to seeing it more than 20 times each as kids. Paul Williams also admitted that the character Winslow's persona of a metallic helmet and a leather jumpsuit is what inspired their own personas.
According to a Guardian interview with Daft Punk, "Hundreds of bands may tout cinematic references, yet few have them as hard-wired as Daft Punk. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter met two decades ago this year, at the perfect cinema-going ages of 13 and 12... the one movie which they saw together more than 20 times was Phantom of the Paradise, Brian De Palma's 1974 rock musical, based loosely around Phantom of the Opera."
Other French musicians have been influenced by the film as well, including Sébastien Tellier. He wrote about his song "Divine" on his album Sexuality: "This is my tribute to the Beach Boys and the Juicy Fruits (from the 1974 musical Phantom of the Paradise). It's about a time of innocence – when having fun was more important than picking up girls."