- Charles Dance as Erik, The Phantom of the Opera
- Teri Polo as Christine Daaé
- Adam Storke as Comte Philippe de Chagny
- Burt Lancaster as Gerard Carriere
- Andrea Ferreol as Carlotta Choleti
- Ian Richardson as Alain Choleti
- Jean-Pierre Cassel as Inspector Ledoux
- Andrea Chaumeau as Joseph Buquet
- Marie-Therese Orain as Madame Giry
The Phantom of the Opera (Charles Dance) is a disfigured musician named Erik who lives below the Opéra Garnier in Paris. He has a large part in managing each performance through his friend, Gerard Carriere (Burt Lancaster). The Phantom's life changes when Gerard is dismissed and the opera hires a new manager, Choleti. Choleti's wife Carlotta is a spoiled woman with a bad personality and a terrible voice to match; it is obvious that Choleti bought his way into the managership to further his wife's career. The Phantom takes an instant dislike to them both. Choleti and Carlotta refuse to listen to warnings about the "ghost" who haunts the opera house, even when Joseph Buquet, Carlotta's wardrobe man, goes down below and does not return (he is later found to have been killed). Christine Daaé (Teri Polo) comes to the Paris Opera House in search of voice lessons that Phillipe, the Comte de Chagny promised her, learning that she is not the only pretty face that Phillipe brought there. Carlotta initially dismisses her, but upon learning that Christine "has a patron who is powerful" states that Christine can work in the costume department in Buquet's place. Christine has no home or money, but Jean-Claude, the doorman, lets her stay in a storage room in the Opera House. That night, Christine wanders onto the stage and sings to the empty theater. The Phantom is immediately entranced by her voice. Hiding in the orchestra pit, he tells her that her voice is miraculous but untrained, and with proper technique her singing could reach its full potential. He offers to be her teacher, but must remain anonymous; that is why he wears a mask. They begin lessons, and the Phantom falls deeper in love with her. When she asks of his opinion on the Comte de Chagny, he replies "he is unworthy of you. He comes to the Opera for the wrong reasons ... he comes for the beauty of faces rather than the beauty of music."
In retaliation for Carlotta's singing the lead in every production, Erik begins a campaign of humiliation against her, sabotaging her performances and causing Carlotta to become a laughingstock in the eyes of the public. Phillipe comes to the opera house and finds out that Christine has been working in the costume department. He apologizes and invites her to the Bistro. With Erik's encouragement, Christine attends the Bistro and sings. Everyone is astonished by her voice and Choleti immediately signs her to a singing contract. After the Bistro, Phillipe and Christine start to bond. He realizes Christine was his childhood sweetheart from long ago. They already have the budding love from their earlier time together, and this only strengthens it. Erik witnesses them driving off together and stays up all night back in the rehearsal room, waiting for Christine. At the last moment she remembers Erik and hurry's back to the opera house. upon arriving she heartbreakingly finds him gone. Because of the Phantom's sabotage campaign, Carlotta says she will not sing until he is caught or killed. Finding out that Christine has been secretly living in the Opera, Carlotta confronts her and blackmails Christine into telling her about her vocal coach. When Carlotta informs her husband that Christine's teacher is the Phantom, Choleti gives Christine the female lead of the opera Faust; he is working with the police to capture the Phantom. Christine tells Erik about getting the lead role in Faust but lies about where she was after the Bistro. He agrees to help her prepare for her debut. But Christine regrets lying to him and apologizes revealing the truth of being with Phillipe (Not realizing that Erik already knew). She hugs Erik saying she didn't want to hurt him and that it's thanks to him she has the lead role.
Before curtain up, Carlotta tricks Christine to drink a beverage that temporarily weakens her voice. The audience starts booing, and Erik is enraged. He cuts through the ropes holding the chandelier and drops it on the audience. He takes Christine and leads her to his underground lair. He carries her in his arms, gently lays on a bed and sings her to sleep with a soft melody. Returning to the opera house, the Phantom discovers Carlotta was behind Christine's voice problems and dumps a big box of rats on her, driving her insane. As Christine sleeps, Erik builds traps for anyone who comes down below. Gerard comes down and pleads with him to let Christine go, but Erik refuses. He insists that the world above is not fit for her and he believes that in time she will love him. He also shows Gerard the explosive materials that he has devised, and warns him that he will blow up the entire opera house if they step over the line and try to come down there. Gerard goes to Christine and urges her to get out as soon as possible. He tells her the story of Erik's past, that he is really Erik's father. Erik's mother, was a great singer named Belladova to whom she bears an eerie resemblance. Belladova gave birth to him below the opera house, and Erik has lived there his entire life. Christine however refuses to leave without talking to Erik first. The following morning, Erik takes Christine on a leisurely tour of his underground home. During a picnic, she asks Erik to show her his face. Erik at first refuses, but she promises him that she would be able to look at him with love and acceptance, just as his mother once did. However, when he does unmask himself, she faints. Erik becomes enraged by this and breaks everything he touches. When Christine awakens she tries to escape but Erik locks her in a cage. He tells her that she can't leave now because she has seen his face. Christine manages to escape the cage and return above. Gerard and Phillipe take her far from the Opera House. Christine is still stricken with guilt for fleeing from Erik. Phillipe is jealous, believing that Christine is in love with the Phantom. That night Christine has a nightmare that Erik is dying because of her actions. She begs Phillipe to take her back which he reluctantly agrees. He and Christine approach the manager about singing that night. Choleti secretly arranges to have police planted throughout the opera house for the performance.
Gerard has gone below and found Erik among the remains of his lair. Gerard talks to Erik about Christine, and lets him know that she did not mean to hurt him. Resigned, Erik says simply, "She was unprepared for ugliness." The conversation turns to Erik's mother and, eventually, his face. The older man reveals that he has already seen Erik's face, because he is his father. Erik says he knew all along. He tells Gerard that when he dies, he wants to be buried deep so he cannot be put on display. Gerard promises before leaving Erik, though he is loath to do so. Christine sings at that night's performance of Faust, Erik hears her and forces himself up to Box Five. He begins singing with her and the audience's attention turns toward him in shock. Christine and the Phantom sing to each other with such passion that the audience give them a standing ovation. The police shoot at Erik and he jumps on stage, grabbing hold of Christine. He carries her to the roof, Phillipe pursues them, but in the ensuing struggle is knocked off the roof and dangles over the edge. Erik begins breaking the Phillipe's grip, but at Christine's pleading pulls him to safety. Erik finds that he is cornered, with police determined to take him alive. Gerard has gone to his old offices and retrieved a gun. Upholding his promise, Gerard shoots his son. Erik falls from the roof and Gerard cradles him on his lap. Christine runs to his side weeping and despite Erik's plea she removes Erik's mask. She looks him straight in the face, smiles and kisses him. Christine replaces Erik's mask and dies peacefully with his father and Christine at his side. She gets to her feet and is led away by Phillipe.
Differences from other adaptationsEdit
- 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, "Phantom: The American Musical Sensation", by Arthur L. Kopit.
- It is the only Phantom of the Opera movie to actually be filmed on location in Paris.
- The manager in this version is named Cholet. In other versions, there are two managers: Moncharmin and Richard or Andre and Firmin.
- In this version, Carlotta is Cholet's wife, but still the jealous, self-centered diva as she is in other versions.
- Raoul is not featured in this adaptation, and instead his brother Count Philippe is Christine's love interest.
- Like many other adaptations, the character of the Persian has been excluded, this time using the character Inspector Ledoux.
- In this version, the Phantom has not traveled all over the world, nor did he help build the Opera House. Rather, the Opera House was already built when he was born, and he lived under and in the vicinity of the Opera House all of his life.
- This is the first film in which the Phantom's face is never seen without his mask.