The Phantom of the Opera (1990 miniseries)

The Phantom of the Opera (1990 miniseries)

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a 1990 television miniseries based loosely on Gaston Leroux's novel and directed by Tony Richardson.


The Phantom of the Opera (Charles Dance) is a disfigured musical genius named Erik who lives below Opéra Garnier in Paris. He has a huge part in managing each performance through his friend Gerard Carriere. Then the Phantom's life turns upside down when he finds that Gerard is being dismissed and the opera has a new manager named Choleti. Choleti's wife Carlotta is a spoiled woman with a bad personality and a terrible voice to match. The Phantom takes an instant disliking for them both.

Choleti and Carlotta refuse to listen to everyone who warns them about the mysterious ghost who lurks around the opera house. Gerard says,"All you need to know, is don't go down below." Gerard had made the legend of the Opera Ghost grow to protect Erik.

Christine Daae (Teri Polo) comes to the Paris Opera House in search for voice lessons that Phillipe, the Comte de Chagny promised her. Carlotta said that Christine can work in the costume department because she is supposedly unfit for the stage. Since Christine has no home, a doorman lets her stay in an old storage room in the Opera House. Later that night, the Phantom hears Christine singing, and he falls in love with her enchanting voice. He tells her that her voice is miraculous but he explains that with a proper voice tutor, her voice could reach its full potential. He offers to be her voice teacher, but he must remain anonymous. He tells her that is the reason he wears a mask. Erik tutors Christine in one of the many music rooms. He quickly falls even more in love with her. The Comte de Chagny returns and sees that Christine has been working in the costume department. He apologizes and invites her to come to the Bistro. Christine is hesitant and asks her Maestro if she should attend. Erik says she should go as it would provide many opportunities. She attends the Bistro and sings. Everyone is awestruck by her voice. After the Bistro, Phillipe and Christine start to bond. The Count then realizes Christine was his childhood sweetheart from long ago. They already have the budding love from their short meeting and time together, and this only strengthens it.

Since the Phantom sabotaged Carlotta's performances, she says she won't sing again until he is killed. Choleti then gives Christine the lead of the Opera, Faust. Before the show, Carlotta tricks Christine into drinking so called "herbs" to relieve her nerves. Christine then tries to sing but finds that her voice is weak, and cracking, then gives out entirely. The audience starts booing and Christine starts to cry. Erik is terribly angered by this time. He chops down the ropes holding the chandelier and it crashes down upon the audience. He then grabs Christine in the middle of all the terror and leads her underground. He poles a boat to a little house. He lays her upon the bed and he sings her to sleep--a soft enchanting melody. That is the first we get to hear Erik sing. As Christine is asleep, Erik builds traps for anyone who comes down there. He could, if he wanted to, blow up the entire Opera House. Gerard comes down below and pleads with him to let her go. The Phantom refuses. Erik explains, "Up there is where Hell is and I will not send an angel to hell! I may be hideous but I am not hideous enough to do that". Erik gets frustrated with Gerard and resents that he expects him to send her back. He tells Gerard to go away. Gerard then goes to Christine and warns her. He then tells her the story of Erik's past and of his mother. He admits to Christine that he is her Maestro's father. She refuses to go back without talking to Erik first. Gerard leaves, only after telling Christine that she is making a big mistake. The next day, Erik takes Christine on a picnic underground. She asks Erik to take off his mask. After a lot of convincing he shows her his face. WE don't get to see his face, but by the look on Christine's face we know it is horrid. She then faints. Erik then weeps bitterly and goes in a fit of rage, believing Christine doesn't love him anymore. She wakes up and tries to escape. Erik then puts her in a cage. Christine escapes and runs for safety above ground where Phillipe and Gerard take her far away from the Opera House. She is then terribly miserable and feels guilty for abandoning Erik. She has a dream that Erik was dying and she then begs Phillipe to take her back. The count agrees and Christine approaches the manager about singing that night again.

Meanwhile, Gerard has gone below to see Erik. He finds him among what is left of his lair after his temper fit. He is sick, and it is very apparent. Gerard talks to Erik about Christine, and lets him know that she did not mean to hurt him. The conversation turns to Erik's mother, and eventually, his face. He moves to take the mask off and show Gerard when the older man reveals a shocking bit of information--he's already seen Erik's face. The surprises keep coming as he tells Erik that he also knew his mother. Eventually, he manages to work up the courage to tell Erik that he is his father. Erik responds with "I wondered when you'd say." It seems that he has known for years, and has just been waiting for Gerard to admit to it. Just before Gerard leaves, Erik lets him know that he is dying and wants to be buried deep so he cannot be put on display. Gerard promises, and leaves Erik, though he is loath to do so.

Christine sings at that night's show "Faust". Erik hears her, and forces himself up to box 5 to hear her. He then begins to sing Faust's part and the audience's attention turns toward him in shock. Christine and the Phantom sing to each other with such passion that the audience is in awe. At the end of the number, the audience roars with applause.

The police shoot at Erik and he jumps on stage and kidnaps Christine. He carries her to the roof. He is cornered with police practically crawling over the entire roof. Gerard has, meanwhile, gone to his old offices and pulled a gun from a hollow book. He heads to the roof and sees the fix Erik has gotten himself into. He once promised Erik that he would ensure that he would never be put on display, and when the police make the decision to take Erik alive, Gerard takes out his gun and shoots Erik. Erik falls off the upper portion of the roof and Christine runs to him. Erik is cradled in his father's lap. As Gerard watches, Christine takes off Erik's mask and kisses him on the forehead. Erik, with the purest of love in his heart for her, breathes his last breath. Christine begins to cry, and is led off the roof by the Comte.


*Erik Carriere, aka "The Phantom of The Opera" Charles Dance
*Christine Daae: Teri Polo
*Phillipe Comte de Chagney: Adam Storke
*Gerard Carriere: Burt Lancaster
*Choleti: Ian Richardson
*Carlotta: Andréa Ferréol
*Inspector Ledoux: Jean-Pierre Cassel
*Jean Claude: Jean Rougerie
*Joseph Buquet: André Chaumeau
*Madame Giry: Marie-Thérèse Orain

Differences from other adaptations

*The Phantom in this adaptation is kinder and gentler than in the book and other adaptations, in which he is usually portrayed as evil and malicious.
*In this version, Christine looked a lot like the Phantom's mother, who died giving him life and who loved him. In all other versions of the story, the Phantom's mother loathes him.
*The miniseries is based on the stage play by Arthur L Kopit.
*It is the only "Phantom of the Opera" movie to actually film on location in Paris.
*The manager in this version is named Choleti. In other versions, there are two managers: Moncharmin and Richard or Andre and Firmin
*In this version, Carlotta is Choleti's wife, but still the jealous, self-centered diva as she is in other versions
*Raoul's character has been changed to that of his older brother, who dies in the book.
*This is the first film in which the Phantom's face is never seen without his mask (of which he has several).


The miniseries met with mixed reviews.

External links

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