Category Archives: Random Things of Randomness

The 1943 PotO Plot Twist That Almost Happened

As the title should make you realize, we’ve got another Phantom of the Opera post on our hands. Strap yourselves in.

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite Phantom adaptations is the 1943 movie with Claude Rains–despite its numerous departures from the book, it still manages to tell a good story (and Claude Rains gave a good performance to boot). But there was one change it almost made that would have drastically altered the story.

To be honest, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m going to talk about it again. When Universal was first working on this movie, they had the idea to make Erique the long-lost father of Christine. The backstory here was that Erique had abandoned his wife and daughter in order to pursue his dream career as a violinist at the Paris Opera House. Part of him, however, always felt guilty for abandoning his family, and when Christine came to the opera house as a singer, Erique recognized his daughter and sought to help her pursue her dream as a roundabout way of making up for abandoning her as a child. Of course, he had to do this secretly since he couldn’t just go up to her and say, “Hi, I’m the dad who abandoned you and your mother to go off and pursue my selfish desires; sorry about that.” The studio censors ultimately put the nix on that angle because they felt the Phantom’s growing obsession with Christine would start to make the relationship seem more incestuous than paternal.

Here’s the thing, though–if you watch the movie with the view that Erique is Christine’s father, there isn’t anything that really jumps out as incestuous. In fact, there are a few suggestions during the course of the movie that what the Phantom feels for Christine is not romantic at all. He denies to Christine’s tutor that he is secretly paying for her lessons because he is in love with her, and when he’s leading her to the underground lair, he’s speaking as if to soothe a frightened child. When people figured out that Erique was the Phantom, they all assumed that his interest in Christine was due to being obsessively in love with her, but imagine the shock and surprise that would have been on their faces had they learned the Phantom was terrorizing the opera house in order to make his daughter the star he knew she could be.

I think one of the biggest clues they were going to use for this reveal is that Erique knew the lullaby Christine had heard in her childhood. They way they eventually explained it in the movie was that Erique had come from the same area in France as Christine, and lots of people there probably knew that lullaby. I always thought this was a lame explanation, but the writers probably had to come up with something at the last minute after the “I am your father” storyline was retconned.

All in all, I think it was a shame they ultimately didn’t go this route–it definitely would have made for an interesting twist that you don’t see in other Phantom adaptations. And, frankly, they had already deviated so wildly from the book that it wouldn’t have made any difference.

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Wolverine Tribute

This weekend saw the release of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine. I haven’t seen it yet, but I keep hearing great reviews for it. And I know I’m going to have mixed feelings about it–it’s another Wolverine movie! But it’s the last one with Hugh Jackman! How can this be a good thing?

Either way, I wanted to post this video as a tribute to the irascible mutant even if it’s not a particularly serious video. This was recorded in 2014 when Hugh Jackman visited a radio station to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past. This video was actually what made me decide to look into the X-Men movies, and I am so glad I did.

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Some “Beauty and the Beast” Music

Unless you’ve been living under a very impressive rock, you probably know that the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie is coming out next month. That’s all well and good in itself, but recently my Facebook memories brought the song “If I Can’t Love Her” from the Broadway version back to my mind. Now it’s my understanding that this song won’t be in the movie, which makes me said because it’s an awesome song. So I decided to share it here.

This particular version of “If I Can’t Love Her” is taken from the Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice special from 1996. Personally, I have always thought James Barbour had the perfect voice for the Beast, so I definitely hold a special fondness for any version he performs.

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What Love Really Is

Normally I post this around St. Valentine’s Day, but since this weekend saw the release of a certain movie involving the color grey that spreads some pretty bad misconceptions about love, I decided to go ahead and share the commentary from Yours, Mine, and Ours that defines what love really is.

“It’s giving life that counts. Until you’re ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love in; it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else–it isn’t going to bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”

 

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Farewell to the War Doctor

I was saddened to learn yesterday of the death of actor John Hurt, whom countless Whovians remember as the War Doctor from Doctor Who. I first knew him as the voice of Kilgharrah the Dragon on Merlin (he also voiced Hazel in Watership Down, but I didn’t realize that at the time) and later as Winston in 1984 (having read the book, I don’t think anyone could have played that role better than he did). But it was his performance as the War Doctor, a Doctor without hope or a future yet still somehow the Time Lord we all know and love, that really captured my imagination.

He was the Doctor on the day it was impossible to get it right, and we will never forget him for it. May he rest in peace.

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Star Wars: Episode VIII Title Released!

We now know what the title for the next Star Wars movie is! Are you ready? It’s (insert drum roll) The Last Jedi.

As titles go, it’s not terrible. I guess I was a little disappointed that it broke the theme of the second leg of the trilogy having a title of four words (Episode II was Attack of the Clones; Episode V was The Empire Strikes Back). It’s probably a dumb thing to be sad about, though, so I’ll probably get over it. It definitely is interesting, so I’m certainly eager to see what the next chapter is.

I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back.

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Welcome, 2017!

A new year is upon us once more! Let’s make the most of it! I, for one, am definitely excited about the Sherlock season premiere tonight, and there’s a host of movies I’m looking forward to this year: Wonder WomanBeauty and the BeastLogan, and Star Wars: Episode VIII to name a few. I’m also looking forward to more X-Files (not sure when the new series will be back, but I’m still working my way through the old show and enjoying all the episodes I’m finding), and I’m going back and watching BBC’s Merlin series (I saw the first season long ago but never saw the others) as well, so that’s basically like watching a new show, too.

It’s a brand new year! Go out there and seize it!

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