Peeping Tom (1960)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  15 May 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 20,845 users  
Reviews: 138 user | 130 critic

A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror.



(original story), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Karlheinz Böhm ...
Mark Lewis (as Carl Boehm)
Maxine Audley ...
Brenda Bruce ...
Miles Malleson ...
Elderly Gentleman Customer
Arthur Baden
Martin Miller ...
Dr. Rosen
Don Jarvis
Jack Watson ...
Chief Insp. Gregg
Shirley Anne Field ...
Pauline Shields (as Shirley Ann Field)
Pamela Green ...


Mark Lewis, works as a focus puller in a British film studio. On his off hours, he supplies a local porno shop with cheesecake photos and also dabbles in filmmaking. A lonely, unfriendly, sexually repressed fellow, Mark is obsessed with the effects of fear and how they are registered on the face and behavior of the frightened. This obsession dates from the time when, as a child, he served as the subject of some cold-blooded experiments in the psychology of terror conducted by his own scientist father. As a grown man, Mark becomes a compulsive murderer who kills women and records their contorted features and dying gasps on film. His ongoing project is a documentary on fear. With 16mm camera in hand, he accompanies a prostitute to her room and stabs her with a blade concealed in his tripod, all the while photographing her contorted face in the throes of terror and death. Alone in his room, he surrounds himself with the sights and sounds of terror: taped screams, black-and-white "home ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't dare tell the ending to anyone - you'll be blamed for nightmares! See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 May 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face of Fear  »

Box Office


£135,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$77,752 (USA) (7 May 1999)


$83,957 (USA) (20 August 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are actually two spellings and pronunciations of "scoptophilia." Scopophilia is the preferred spelling and pronunciation, but the film uses the former. See more »


When Mark is viewing his own 16 mm version of the police carrying the body of the prostitute from her flat, there are three bystanders shown between the camera and the police and gurney. When the bystanders move, they cast shadows on to the scene, revealing that they are actually standing in front of a motion backdrop. Thus Mark's film is of another film. See more »


[first lines]
[Mark approaches the prostitute, covertly filming her]
Dora: It'll be two quid
See more »


Referenced in The Last Horror Movie (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Face of Fear
15 October 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In London, the lonely photographer Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) works in a film studio and moonlights supplying cheesecake photos to a magazine store. He lives in the huge house that he had inherited from his parents that is rented to tenants to help him pay the bills and keep the building. Mark was the subject of bizarre experiments of effects of the fear conducted by his scientist father since he was a child and he has become a disturbed man obsessed by the face of frightened women in the moment of death. He kills women filming their faces while he stabs them in the throat.

When Mark meets his neighbor and tenant Helen Stephens (Anna Massey) on the day of her birthday, he befriends her and sooner he dates the young woman. Mark has a crush on Helen and does not want to film her. But Mark is one of the suspects and a detective is tracking down Mark.

"Peeping Tom" is a good film with an unusual serial-killer, since Mark Lewis is an educated and likable character and also a victim of the experiments of his cruel and abusive father. His character creates a great empathy with the viewers and despite being a murderer, he is charismatic. I believe that the feelings of Helen for him are shared by most of the viewers. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Tortura do Medo" ("The Torture of the Fear")

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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