The Swan Archives
The Swan Archives
Production Promotion Themes News Merchandising FAQS & Links Scene by Scene

The Can
The Swan Archives' epic quest for the material on this page has spanned over thirty years. While we are amused by the Quest for Fire, Superman IV's Quest for Peace, Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail, and of course Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, those expeditions, in our view, are nothing more than the pursuits of the weak and uninspired. This discovery puts the The Swan Archives so far beyond Superman, King Arthur, Popeye, and a bunch of neanderthals, they can all just kiss our archival ass. And don't even get us started on Brian Kilmeade: Quest for a Clue.

For decades, this footage had been sitting undisturbed, discarded and unclaimed, in dusty film cans. The Swan Archives obtained it on the original 35mm film (mostly camera negatives) in 2008. (We were a little concerned that, when we opened the cans, the Power of God might fly out and smite and melt us with fire and bolts of lightning, but we were fortunately greeted only by the mild vinegar smell of acetate film that has just started to deteriorate with age -- we clearly got to the film just in time to transfer it to video before it had progressed to the point that it couldn't be restored.)

We had the brittle footage (which at that time had never been seen by anyone) converted to digital, and put it up on our pages in the watermarked, crippled, low resolution format you see here. Our hope was that, someday, someone would decide to do a new special edition Phantom DVD or Bluray, and would be interested in using this footage as an "extra." We felt that if we were making the footage available in high quality on our site, that would discourage a "legitimate" distributor from going to the expense and bother of using it...and our ultimate goal was to have the footage adopted in a legitimate release, so that fans could enjoy it in its full glory on their bigscreen TVs, from their very own copies. We attempted on numerous occasions to get in touch with Criterion, but they never responded. We made sure that both Brian De Palma and (Phantom editor) Paul Hirsch knew that we had the footage. We told Mr. De Palma that we'd be happy to deliver it to him should he so request; he told us that we should just hang on to it, and that the materials were better off in the Archives' hands. Mr. Hirsch told us that if anyone wanted to try to restore the film using our footage here (and the footage on our Swan Song Fiasco page), he'd be happy to help.

We never contacted Fox. The studios don't have a stellar record with respect to preserving their own heritage. Time and time again, they have found themselves going to packrat fans, like the Archives, to recover the only remaining examples of materials that the studios themselves had thrown away decades ago, often because those materials were deemed unworthy of the space they took up on the shelves. And, these same studios who from time to time go begging to film collectors also have a long history of suing, and even criminally prosecuting, us for the very act of maintaining the studios' legacies...for taking an interest at a time when the studios couldn't be bothered. Indeed, so far as we know, Fox has absolutely no Phantom outtakes, unused footage or trims in its vaults. Had this material been in Fox's custody all these years, it likely would have gone to the same smelter as all the other "worthless" footage. At best, it would be in an anonymous crate, like the Ark of the Covenant, amongst thousands of similarly anonymous crates, rotting away in a corner, never to be seen by anyone.

But we digress.

We waited, for years, for someone to take an interest.

Eventually, in February of 2013, we were contacted by Arrow Films. Arrow had already proven their mettle with their best-of-breed Bluray release of De Palma's Obsession, and were at that time on the verge of issuing Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, and The Fury. They wanted the footage, and wanted our help with other aspects of their disc as well. We felt that, in Arrow, we had a worthy partner, and were relieved that the footage would finally, forty years after being shot, get the showcase it deserved.

At the same time, we admit that letting go has been bittersweet. Prior to the Arrow release, the Swan Archives had been the only place this footage could be seen, and it drew a lot of visitors over the years. We got a lot of email. We made some friends. The footage has become the centerpiece of the site -- its raison d'Ítre -- and we're unsure whether, with the footage out for everyone to own (and of course ripped from the Arrow disc and splayed all over Youtube and Piratebay), there will still be much demand for what the Archives has to offer.

In any event, thanks to the Arrow release (and, now, the Scream Factory release for the North American market, which uses substantially more of this footage than did the Arrow release), our mission to salvage and make available this abandoned and forgotten material has come to an end. We hope Swan would be proud.

If you don't have the Arrow or Scream blurays, you're welcome to continue to watch the footage here. It's all silent so, though we love to hear from you, please don't send us emails telling us that the sound on these clips "doesn't work". On the other hand, if you'd like to congratulate us on this amazing find, the address is archivist (at) If you're interested in seeing some of these clips with sound dubbed in, check out our Re-Edited Clips page.

So here are the outtakes. For more deleted footage, we encourage you to take a look at our Swan Song Fiasco page, which details the sorry history of last-minute changes made to the film to appease the whiny Peter Grant, and which provides, for the first time anywhere, most of the deleted and mutilated footage in its original form.

Inside the Record Factory

We'll start with the best, the holiest of holy grails. The Lost Record Factory Sequence.
Even a complete ignoramus like Sean Hannity knows that Brian De Palma decided at the last minute to remove footage from Phantom's final cut depicting Winslow emerging, bloodied, from the record press, only to be shot by the security guard. Mr. De Palma said in an interview at the time that he felt that its tone wasn't consistent with the rest of the film. We can't be sure, but we presume he meant it was too gory. Prior to this footage being found, the only glimpse we'd had of this scene was a few frames of Winslow's mangled face, which had been included in one of the trailers ("previews of coming attractions"), presumably assembled before the decision was made to remove the scene from the film, and a still shot of the guard's gun being fired. In any event, at long last, and with great pride, we self-congratulatingly present this pinnacle of cinematic archeological achievement here.
Here we have three takes of Winslow just after having his head mooshed by the record press. These scenes were shot January 24, 1974. It looks like more blood is being added to Winslow's hand between takes here. None of this was used in the final cut, but a few frames from Take 2, we think, appear in the Lost Record Factory Sequence.
Beef and His Nemesis, the Plunger
We've often wondered how many times Gerrit Graham had to get that plunger shoved in his face. Now we know: at least six. Here are Takes 5 and 6, shot on December 18, 1973; it turns out that this is the exact 14th anniversary of the shooting of Psycho's own shower scene, which took place December 17-23, 1959. Gerrit seems to wince a bit when the water hits him on Take 6, which makes sense, because the crew, playing a little joke on him, was making the water successively colder for each take.
Winslow's Escape
Here are several takes of Bill Finley, as Winslow, extricating himself from the cardboard box in which he had escaped prison, and running off into the streets of New York. In one of these takes, Finley has a lot of trouble getting out of the box, and, when he finally gets out, he breaks character, cracking up at his own bungling attempt to "escape". This was shot in January of 1974, in New York.
Winslow's Suicide
Here's an alternate take of Winslow's rooftop suicide, from an angle we're unaccustomed to. It looks like there's a helmet malfunction cutting things short.
Everyone's Favorite Receptionist
We never thought the Death Records Receptionist was given enough to do. In the Archives' opinion, she should have starred in her own spinoff series. For those who can't get enough of her, this won't help much. But it's a start. She was played by Mary Margaret Amato, and also shows up (in the purple blouse) as part of Swan's entourage in the balcony during Beef's rehearsal and (in her red boots) at the club where the Juicy Fruits perform Goodbye, Eddie, as well as with Philbin in Beef's dressing room, as he line-checks at the Paradise, and, in a fetching red leotard, as he extinguishes the flames on Beef's corpse.
Winslow Meets the Receptionist
Here are several takes of Winslow meeting the receptionist, in which we get to watch Winslow's reactions (not visible in the film) to the receptionist's finding his name in her card file, and then pressing the "eject the visitor" button. We see that Winslow looks pleased and vindicated when the receptionist finds a card with his name on it, not realizing that it says "Never to be Seen!", and that he looks even happier when she presses the emergency buzzer...apparently he doesn't understand that she's summoning the goons.
The Montage Sequence
This footage, along with the rest of the elements of the montage sequence showing time passing as Winslow rewrote his cantata for Phoenix, was directed and shot by editor Paul Hirsch in Dallas, much of it in the back of the Majestic Theater, against a background of black Duvateen (draping, feltlike material). Here are a number of "fly-by"'s of the Death Records clock. The footage, shot on Christmas eve 1973, shows a number of different ideas for how the clock could have been shown traveling through space.
Here's some more footage shot by Paul Hirsch. This is several takes of a truck-forward into the lens of one of Swan's "Swan Song" videocameras. It appears that this footage, along with the flying clocks and calendars, was going to be used as one of the elements in the "time-passing" montage. We believe that the cameras were ultimately not used in the montage because they had the Swan Song logo on them. (You can read more about the deletion of most of the Swan Song references in the film on our Swan Song Fiasco page, which, incidentally, is chock-full of more never-before-seen outtakes).
This is how it appears the Swan Song videocamera would have been used in Paul Hirsch's montage sequence, had it been retained.
The Juicy Fruits

Several runthroughs of "Goodbye, Eddie" were shot, and each take utilized three cameras: one with a wide shot, another that stayed with the two backup singers (Harold Oblong and Jeff Comanor), and a third that followed lead singer Archie Hahn. De Palma and Hirsch then selected individual shots from each camera, from the several takes, and combined their selections to result in what we see on screen. Here, we see the raw footage from each of the three cameras for various takes of the Juicy Fruits' performance.
Here's Archie Hahn's third runthrough of "Goodbye, Eddie," including an ultra-rare view of the back of his head!
Here's Take 1, shot December 10, 1973, from the point of view of the camera tasked with staying on Harold and Jeff. We hadn't realized before we saw this that Harold had his chewing gum in his ear. And watch for the little game of pattycake that didn't find its way into the final cut.
And this is a wide shot of the Juicy Fruits' performance.
Phoenix's Crazy Chickendance (you know you love it; we do, too.)
Here's Take 4 of Phoenix's performance of "Special to Me," on December 14, 1973, from the perspective of the camera assigned to a medium shot of Phoenix. Here, we get to see her entire performance, without cutting away to Swan and Winslow up in their box seats.
This is the first take of "Special to Me," shot on December 14, 1973, a tighter shot than was used in Take 4. In the last couple of seconds, after she's finished, a moment between Jessica Harper and Brian De Palma is captured.
The Phantom Haunts the Paradise
Here's the Phantom's stunt double in the rafters of the Paradise; we see how he started on a ladder, and then worked his way all the way across the beam above the stage. We assume there was only one take of this, and the "missing" footage in the middle is what was actually used in the final cut.
After frying Beef, the Phantom awaits his cue (the smoke) to start his triumphant screaming. Here, William Finley gives his director several screams from which to choose, as the camera just rolls. We presume that because the smoke was only going to last for a limited amount of time, it made sense to provide several options as a single continuous take, rather than to waste time setting up separate takes here.
The Phantom operates the spotlight for Phoenix. Here, Finley is providing a wide variety of facial expressions from which De Palma and editor Hirsch can later choose what they want for what turns out to be a very quick cutaway from Phoenix's performance.
This is raw footage from one of the handheld cameras at Swan and Winslow's death scene; here, we get an extended view of Winslow's lonely Bataan Death Crawl along the stage, and of Phoenix cradling his head after he's died; it looks like Jessica Harper had to climb over the cameraman to get herself into position here.
The Original Title Sequence
The addition to the film's title of the words "of the Paradise" was a last-minute change, made after the film was sold to 20th Century Fox, the result of legal concerns arising from the comic strip, "Phantom". Here's how the first few seconds of the film were going to look prior to the title change having been made.

Some images not loading? Try refreshing the page, but wait for all the images to load BEFORE clicking on any of the pop-up links. (Some browsers stop loading images as soon as you click on anything in the page.)
Inquiries may be directed by email to archivist at The words "grand guignol" appear nowhere on this site. All website text, design, and coding is Copyright 2006-2024, Ari the Principal Archivist. No claim is made to the copyrighted works, trademarks or service marks of Harbor Productions, 20th Century Fox or A&M Records, and The Swan Archives is in no way affiliated with any of these entities.
Death Records