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 Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie

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Gabby81
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:59 pm

It's a shame cause I never really believe that AWL was so money hungry. But, like you said, once you get a taste for it....

I mentioned I ordered the companion book for the film, I think I ordered The Phantom of Manhattan too. It just seems strange, because they seem like two totally different stories. In the novel, the Phantom dies. In the musical and movie, he doesn't. I remember the first time I watched the movie, before I knew of the impending sequel, that they left the movie open for a sequel. It just drives me nuts. AWL is a brilliant man, but he isn't perfect.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:15 pm

Let me warn you about he companion book. It contains a copy of the script, but it's not the shooting script. It's an earlier version. You will see a number of difference, such as Christine walking across the roof in a trance led by the Phantom, the Phantom pulling the curtain down on him and Christine in the swan bed, to mention a few.

The photos are gorgeous and the commentary is good. It is a must have for every Phan.

************************************

Which was more meaningful, showing the Phantom as Gerry with a half mask and only half disfigured or the "living corpse" look of Leroux's Erik?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:01 pm

I think this can be interpreted many different ways, but I'm going to try and explain myself. In our day and age, where beauty is the most important thing(not my thoughts, but that's pretty well what society says), Gerry's version with the half mask would fit better. First of all, with the mask, he's damn hot! And once he's unmasked, only half of his face is disfigured, so I think it would be easier for someone to love him for him.

As for the living corpse in the novel, what I picture in my head is pretty nasty. I have no idea what Leroux's image of him was. I think that along with the disfigurement, he's not as nice a person as the movie. Let me explain.....The movie, he wasn't that nice....I mean, he did kill a few people and made some sets fall. But to me, Erik in the novel is far worse. The killings for the Sultana, the deaths at the Opera house, and all the tricks he pulls, would make him less appealing. I believe that physical handicaps or disfigurement are unimportant, it's the person inside, the real person, that matters. Looks come and go. I would rather be with a horribly disfigured Erik who loved me and cared for me (my own doesn't-kill-so-much version of Erik), than a pretty boy like Raoul who really, I don't like much in the book. I've dealt with what it's like to be judged on the outside, and it's never fun. I'm sure most people have experienced this. As long as we learn the lessons that teaches us, we'll be better off.

*****************************************************

Now, you kind of illuded to a question I've had FOREVER!!! Well, at least since I read the book and have done all the research. In Leroux's novel, we are told several times that Erik wears a black mask, I almost picture it like a hankie/scarf. His entire face was disfigured. In the movie, half mask. If you google images for Phantom, you see so many different versions, some full mask, some with only 1 eye hole, some half mask.....there are so many different adaptations to this. Why? Why such a drastic change from the start to the current?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:34 pm

You're right, ALW didn't want this to be a horror story, so he didn't make Erik with the severe deformity as Leroux. It is easier to love beauty. Obviously this is why so many of us are in love with Gerik (Gerry + Erik = Gerik). I love you I love you I love you

Leroux's Erik had a checkered past and many times he didn't talk like he was dealing with a full deck. With his looks the only thing he seemed suited for was a political assassin and an executioner. After all this, we still see the one redeeming act that makes us all feel for him; he released Christine (the only woman he would ever love) to go with Raoul, a man he despised.

So depending on what you're looking for; horror gets the full black death's head for the living corpse, or high romance gets the half mask and a hottie in Victorian dress. Laughing

*****************************************

As for the mask; Leroux describes the mask as a death's head. It was a full black mask which resembled a skull. The handkerchief was what Lon Chaney wore as the Phantom. The material part was just at mouth level.

All other versions are again visions of filmmakers and artists. When you get the new translation of Phantom I mentioned in another thread, you will be awed and overwhelmed with all the different illustrations of Phantom.

The interpretation is just like anything else, no matter what the original looked like, there will always be someone who thinks they can improve the look.

Hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:33 pm

See, this is why I can't read two stories at once, I confuse easily! Lon Chaney was the first actor to play Phantom, if I'm not mistaken. I haven't seen the movie yet, but the pictures are frightening. I thought I remembered in Leroux's novel when Erik was speaking to the Persian that his mask was described as a kind of black silk masque thing. But what you described of Lon Chaney is exactly what I was thinking of, so I'm not sure where I would have read that.

Just to clarify, what do you mean by the new translation of Phantom? I just can't go through all the other threads right now. I just received my copy of "The Phantom of Manhattan", I'm waiting on the companion book for the 2004 movie, and I can't afford to buy the 2-disc dvd right now. My memory is really poor right now, so if I repeat myself or my questions, I apologize.

I am however, anxious to see these different movie versions. I did not, at all, like the 1962 version. Robert Englund's version scares me a little Laughing But there are so many different versions, and I'm curious to see the different interpretations.

And, as always, you're insight and information is always a help!
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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:25 pm

You could have read about Lon Chaney's mask somewhere online. Yes, he was the very first Phantom on film. Released in 1925.

Don't apologize, it's hard for anybody to get all the Phantom's straight.
******************************

The new translation as discussed in this thread: http://erikofmusic.forumakers.com/original-novel-f1/the-new-leroux-jean-marc-and-randy-lofficier-phantom-adaption-t202.htm

I will create a thread for just Phantom films and we can chat. I will do that tomorrow.

Robert Englund's 1989 version was scary and bloody. And Herbert Lom in the 1962 version was not very convincing as a scary Phantom or a pitiful one. Not fond of either.

***********************

In the original novel what did Christine mean when she said she could smell death on Erik's hands. Was that a real scent? A feeling that he had killed? Or could it be an illness which caused his deformity?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:29 pm

See, I knew about the book you were talking about, because I had read the thread. I want to apologize now to anyone in these forums. My short term memory right now is very limited. If you find me repeating myself, or asking the same question twice, just point me in the right direction, like Fay, did with the thread addy.

As for the mask, I was actually a little surprised at how few pictures of Lon Cheney there were with the mask on. Most of what I found was how he looked without it. I was actually able to watch the unmasking, as well as find the entire movie online. Hopefully I can watch it soon.

There may be an actual technical book response for this, but I'm not sure. I did a little research, and all I found was that Christine found his cold hands smelled of death. Again, not a lot of research, because I just can't do it.

You mention that it could be the illness which caused his deformity. It could absolutely be. I wish we were told more about it in the novel, but we aren't. I always assumed Christine could smell something on his hands, not just in her imagination. Something to could be the fact that he lives in a dark, dank place, that I would think eventually would develop an odour. I could be missing something, but is there something that feeds the underground lake, or is it completely stagnant? Stagnant water over time, would it not also develop an odor to it? Christine may have thought this scent was a stench of death, or should I say, the death caused by these hands.

****************************************

In the 2004 movie, we see that the Phantom does have some "traps" on the way down to his lair. Basically, the one Raoul falls into. In the novel, the Persian and Raoul have a much more difficult time making their way through the many pitfalls on their journey. Is this another example of cutting for a movie when it comes to time? At first I was going to say that we don't see the Phantom playing any tricks really in the movie, but he does (the backdrop falling, Carlotta's croaking). In the movie, it seems quite easy to find the Phantom's lair. Why the difference?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:30 pm

I am also of the group that feels the movie and the books are apples to oranges. Webber took what he felt were the most powerful themes and images and went from there. I find his version more a "renovelization" of the original story. Making Erik a more sexual being vs. a sensual one, the changes to Christine's character, to Madame Giry... the list goes on.

Any adaptation has to change to suit the target audience. I am sure certain elements of Leroux were not important to Webber's needs. He wanted the heart of his movie to be more of a romance.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:27 pm

Mav is right. High romance didn't need the Phantom to be a devious, trapdoor lover who could walk through the Opera House without being seen.

We only see two trapdoors in the 2004 film, one center stage when the Phantom disappears through the floor and Raoul follows only to find himself in the torture chamber. Big difference from the original novel. The next one is the one you mentioned, when Raoul falls into the lake.

The movie did make it easy to find the lair, but in reality, no one could find their way through a labyrinth. Hollywood loves the torch bearing mob scenes. What can I say? That's show biz!

***************************************************************************

It's highly possible that the smell Christine complained of was a physical odor, perhaps one caused by Erik's illness, or maybe by the catgut which made up the Punjab lasso. Then again, it could be a sixth sense, and not a physical smell. A dig to the fact that Erik killed many people.


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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:57 pm

All these points are wonderful. There is a lot of flexibility from Leroux to anyone who wants to write about Phantom. And there have been quite a large amount of interpretations. Not only the novels, but full books, phanfics, you name it. To us Phans, we eat, sleep and drink Phantom, and of course, something may come of it. Fortunately, from talking in this forum, it seems that the good outweigh the bad for adaptations.

Fay, I think I told you that I received my copy of Frederick Forsythes book. I must say I'm a little leary about reading it, cause no Phantom lover seems to have liked it. I am also waiting on the companion book for the movie, and also Susan Kays novel. Her interpretation seems to be a very popular, positive story.

********************************
For the smell, we'll never know. You said it may be like a sixth sense, but honestly, I don't think she would have it. If she had, she would have known that Erik was on the roof that night. There is absolutely no part of this even mentioned in the movie. In my head, Phantom has killed very little: first was his prison guard, then we know nothing for the next 20+ years or so, so he could have murdered, but who? Then he kills Joseph Buquet and Piangi. Am I leaving any out? Anyway, my point is there would be a lot more blood on Erik's hands than on the Phantom's in 2004. Plus, he's hot as hell, so if that were me, and his hands smelt a little funny? Meh! I couldn't care less. Take me Gerry! lol

*********************************
Sorry to end on a "inappropriate note" (I kept it PG), I'm out of comparisons between the book and the movie. I won't be around all week until Friday, so I'll try and get some good ones then. So, y'all have fun picking those stories apart. Can't wait to join you on Friday! Have a great week Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:13 pm

The sense of smell is one of the most powerful we have so you have a point, Gabby, regarding Christine. She would definately know if Erik was around. I believe in the original French text that element of the novel and be taken two ways an actual smell or a "presence" of death.

Certainly in the romance market (books and movies) the sense of smell is used in a sensual way. I have been around actual death--it does not small pretty at all--and have interviewed folks who have dealt with it. The scent of death would definately bring romance to a standstill. Webber would not dare place that in his movies, and like mentioned in a different thread, this is one of the major elements my publishing house took issue with... you grin, you bear it, you do some fancy rewording and come out smelling like roses...

HA! Sorry... could not resist.

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:33 pm

Lol....nice point about the sense of smell being so powerful. We tend to leave that sense out quite often, but who's not transported back to their childhood when you smelled baking bread, or something else that takes you back (I'm pushing the taking night meds and staying up instead of going to sleep, so there may be some typos and stuff that I will apologize for now. Since I won't be back til Friday I wanted to get in what I could).

I liked what you said about the presence of death. It's hard when translating a text. Too bad Leroux isn't around to translate it for us (that's gonna be the first question I ask him when I find him Smile

Since ALW seriously played up the romance side of this story, can you picture Sarah Brightmans smelling the hands and recoiling and gagging? Lol. Doesn't quite go with the romanticizing aspect. There's no way off the top of my head that could make that work Smile

I've been reading and rereading your post, cause it takes a little time to sink in....and I think I wrote this in another thread.....by the time Christine encounters the Phantom, per the movie, we've only seen the Phantom kill 1, his captor at the fair. Over the short time the movie portrays, Phantom goes on to kill 2 more. The stenche of death wouldn't be that bad yet.

Anyway, enough, my brains starting to bring me ideas in circles, and it's not working. I hope you enjoy your weeks and I shall be back on Friday!
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:02 am

The smell of death would not fit anything of ALW. This would only pertain to the original novel. Leroux's Erik with his dark past would be the only one to carry the stench of death.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:11 pm

I want to thank you guys for offering your opinons for me. I love the story of the Phantom. Novel, stage production, movie. I'm still on my reread of Leroux's novel, considering my current situation (I think I'm on like chapter 5-6. I know, I know, time to get off my butt and keep reading). Likely, even if I read a chapter a day, you guys are going to get completly drowned in the questions I'll have Smile I will do my best to get a few chapters in before I come home on Friday. I absolutely LOVE knowledge, whether it's a tidbit that we may never agree upon, to the many questions this incredible story have produced. I look forward on the weekends to get back on the forums to see what's happeneing. So, basically, thanks for having this wonderful forum with it's extremely wonderful members and an incredible sense of comfort (ie I have yet to have anyone ridicule my questions/answers). Great place, Great people. I'll try and get on tomorrow if I can but I can't be 100% sure. If i don't see y'all, have a great week@
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:36 am

I never did fully get this out of my mouth, so here goes.

At the end of the 2004 film, old Raoul brings the music box with the monkey dressed in Persian robes playing the cymbals and lays it on Christine's grave. Then he noticed something lying next to the headstone; the blood red rose tied with a black velvet ribbon around its stem and fastened with the original ring he'd given Christine (the one she gave to the Phantom).

Being so different from the ending in Leroux's novel we see the two rivals offering their beloved Christine items which had belonged to the other. Why do you suppose they did that? Do you think Raoul would have flew into a rage had he'd come face to face with the Phantom at his wife's grave? affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:11 pm

Interesting...I never thought that far into the cemetary scene. Old Raoul says he bought the music box because Christine had told him about it. But it was the Phantoms. Does Raoul know that? He never came back while Phantom was playing it and singing along.

I have never understood the ring thing. Raoul gives it to Christine as an engagement ring. Then the Phantom rips it off her neck. Then, down in the lair, he gives her the same ring (which by the way seems really weird to me that the Phantom would give Christine the same ring that Raoul had)

What I took from the rose, ribbon and ring, was that the Phantom was obviously still alive (sequel anyone Smile. Raoul makes a comment that I don't know word for word, but something like will you continue to live while the rest of us are dead.

As for a meeting between the two at the cemetary, Raoul might have been PO'd, but we see that he is quite old and basically bound to a wheel chair, so I'm not sure any type of altercation would occur, simply a battle of words and wits.

*************************************
Following this same thread....we see in the cemetary that Christine has passed away. We see that Raoul is old and in a wheel chair. What do me know about the Phantom? We know he's still alive, but he would have aged too, hadn't he? I can only assume that Forsythe's book takes place shortly after the movie ended? I mean, it talks of babies and freak shows etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:53 pm

Let me try this again. Internet connection went down.

This act showed they had forgiven each other and so offered their beloved items from one another. Should old Raoul have seen the Phantom, he would not have been violent. I believe he only wanted to see someone from his past to connect with Christine.

Yes, in Phantom of Manhattan, you will see how Christine dies, why Raoul is crippled, etc. But I didn't like it and don't believe it! Shocked

**************************************************

In the 2004 film, the Phantom never thought to give Christine a ring until he saw Raoul's. In the essence of time and money, he chose to use the same ring when he proposes marriage. In the end, Christine gives him the ring to let him know, she cannot marry him, but he should keep it to remember her by.

This bothered me as well. I didn't like it and actually it didn't make sense, except the way I've explained it.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:01 pm

I never thought at the end that Raoul and Phantom would have a physical altercation. A few words perhaps, but you make a good point about them connecting over Christine. It would actually be interesting to see what would have transpired between the two. The Phantom of Manhattan, I'm just not sure. Of course I'll read it, but I'm starting to wonder the author's sanity! Lol.

*************************************************

Thanks for better explaining the ring thing. Of course it would be the convenient thing to do. Not like the Phantom can go window shopping Smile It still doesn't mean I like it though.

I wish I could make a new point, or ask a question, but my short term memory is so poor. For example, tonight I had to ask my mom if I owned a house coat Laughing It will come back over time, but it's almost funny now.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:03 am

Just take you time and all will get back to normal with you.

Here is one for you, in the novel Erik mentions he has a mask that makes him look like other men, yet we never hear of him wearing it. Why do you suppose? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:18 pm

I don't remember that part, but I believe you that it's there. My immediate thought is that Erik doesn't want to be like other men. I mean, in some instances, I'm sure he would like to be "normal", but he is an incredible person, horrifying, yes, but incredible. And who really wants to be or look like every other man? Interesting that we never hear of him at least putting it on, and perhaps finding out how realistic the mask actually is. I know in the movie we only see 2 different masks.....his regular one, and red death. If I'm missing one, please correct me.

Here's a question I think I had asked you once before.....when Erik visits the Persian at the end, is he actually wearing like a type of veil that would be seen today maybe in the middle east? That's what I understand from it, but I may be wrong. I know it's covering much of his face, and as he dries his tears he tells the Persian to look away so as not to see his deformity. And I way off topic here? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:25 pm

Well, the mask that makes him look like other men was only mentioned once to my knowledge and never expounded upon.

In the 2004 film he wore three different masks, the half off-white colored one, the black cowl mask in Don Juan Triumphant and the white cowl, resembling a partial scull or death's head.

Next time you read it, think about it and we can discuss better.

*******************************************

You mentioned this veil mask before, but as I explained this was not in the book or any film except the first Phantom of the Opera portrayed by Lon Chaney.


Excerpt from the book says:

Erik's emotion was so great that he had to tell the Persian not to look at him, for he was choking and must take off his mask. The daroga went to the window and opened it. His heart was full of pity, but he took care to keep his eyes fixed on the trees in the Tuileries gardens, lest he should see the monster's face.

Three paragraphs later we read:

The monster resumed his mask and collected his strength to leave the daroga.


Here is a link to a film clip on Youtube. You will see the mask there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM0NTRM5R80

Is this what you mean? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:49 pm

I don't know why I have this idea in my head about the veil. I have no idea where it came from. But thanks for the video. It was the first time I'd seen it. Due to my lapse in memory, I can't remember if I've been studying POTO again or not. I thought I may have started to reread it, but actually taking time to write stuff down and questions and all that. But I really can't be sure Sad I'll let you know next week where I am in the novel, and we can start discussing that. Thanks for allowing me some time here. I really appreciate it Hug
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:13 am

You told me you had started to reread POTO again and was on like chapter 6.

*********************

Something to think about. In the book Leroux says Christine is a a singer who doesn't have her heart in her singing and that her age is 2o years old.

In the 2004 film, Christine is a dancer in the chorus line and is 16 years old. Comparing the book to the film, does it make a difference? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 am

Doesn't it say Christine is 17 in the French version though?

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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:06 am

Yes, it does. That is the comparison in the thread about the new translation. At the moment, we are only discussing what's in the 2004 film and the most commonly used translation of the novel.

snowmoccasin, have you read the original French version?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Today at 1:11 am

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