150 user 130 critic

Peeping Tom (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 15 May 1962 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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



(original story), (screenplay)


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
The Red Shoes (1948)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer
The Innocents (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
Repulsion (1965)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson
Freaks (1932)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason
The Haunting (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
Black Sunday (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook


Complete credited cast:
Mark Lewis (as Carl Boehm)
Brenda Bruce ...
Elderly Gentleman Customer
Martin Miller ...
Dr. Rosen
Don Jarvis
Chief Insp. Gregg
Pauline Shields (as Shirley Ann Field)


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


An adventure into terror 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 USA:

$77,752, 7 May 1999

Gross USA:

$83,957, 22 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Considered to be the first mainstream British movie to show female nudity. See more »


The second victim of Mark is whistling while entering the stage where she is meeting Mark.Her lips movement doesn't match to the sound of the whistle. See more »


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


Referenced in Atrocious (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Notorious murder thriller which was years ahead of its time, and resulted in the downfall of its great director.
6 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

To understand the stir that Peeping Tom caused when it was released in 1960, you need to think about what audiences at that time were accustomed to when they went to the cinema. Innocent love stories, historical epics, action-packed westerns and colourful musicals were the staple cinematic diet of the time, certainly not dark, disturbing and intensely violent murder thrillers like this. What probably unsettled contemporary film-goers even more was the fact that a film of this kind could come from a much-loved and revered director like Michael Powell. In modern times, the equivalent would be if Steven Spielberg were to make a graphic and reviled film about paedophilia or bestiality, consequently never being allowed to stand behind a movie camera again. When Peeping Tom hit the big screen, it was rejected by the public and crucified by the critics, and left Powell's hitherto glorious career in ruin.

A film cameraman, Mark Lewis (Karl Boehm), displays psychotic tendencies as he murders women with a spiked tripod attached to the bottom of his camera, capturing on celluloid their final screams of agony. It is revealed that when he was a child, Mark was used as a guinea pig by his father (Michael Powell) in a series of psychoanalytical experiments about the symptoms of fear. Among other things, Mark's delightful dad would wake him throughout the night and shine lights in his eyes, drop lizards into his bed, and on one occasion even forced him to pose for photographs next to the dead body of his mother. As a result, Mark has an unhealthy obsession with fear and, in particular, the expression that people have on their face during moments of fear.

Peeping Tom is one of the few films that still has the power to shock all these years on. Psycho, released roughly at the same time, is still a great film but its shock value has been diminished by years of repeat viewings and increasing permissiveness in the cinema. But Peeping Tom is an altogether more disturbing piece of work. Boehm is excellent as the killer whose entire outlook has been skewed by his father's experiments. Also impressive is Anna Massey as the killer's fragile and unsuspecting fiancée. Powell directs the film brilliantly, using bold and dazzling colours to disguise the horrific atrocities that punctuate his film. It is understandable that the film was met with revulsion and rejection at that time, but in retrospect it is a film of real importance and power. In a 21st century world bombarded and desensitised by harrowing images on the news and in the movies, the theme of losing one's grasp on what is and isn't morally acceptable is more pertinent than ever. This is not easy viewing, but it IS essential viewing.

137 of 149 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Zach Braff on "Alex, Inc." and the Art of Directing

Zach Braff takes "The IMDb Show" behind the scenes of his new series "Alex, Inc." and reveals Morgan Freeman’s favorite on-set prank.

Watch now