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.
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
The cameras in Mark Lewis' room include director Michael Powell's first film camera, a hand operated Eyemo, made by Bell and Howell, that he won in a competition. See more »
When the trunk with the body is opened, the woman scans the body from left to right (from our perspective), and as soon as she sees the right side, she stares and screams. However, when we finally see the body inside, the head is on the left side. See more »
[Mark approaches the prostitute, covertly filming her]
It'll be two quid
See more »
After having heard and read about this movie for years, I finally got the chance to see it on TCM this weekend, during the month-long Michael Powell tribute. I was really looking forward to seeing it, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed. Compared to "Black Narcissus" and "The Red Shoes" - both amazing films - "Peeping Tom" seemed a big step down. I was left with the impression that the critics were probably right, in that it was not a very good movie. Had it been better paced and better written, it might have made a much better impression on critics at the time, but as it is, it just sort of came across as a rather dull and poorly done version of the sort of thing that British television specialized in at the time (The Saint, The Avengers, Thriller, etc.), only more lurid. Carl Boehm was miscast, and the scene with Moira Shearer seemed to go on for far too long, and its only purpose seemed to be to show off her dancing. I would have preferred having her play a larger role. The detective element of the film was weak at best. The notion of Mark Lewis moonlighting as a porn photographer was interesting, and I would have liked to have seen that explored a little more. It just seemed like the film was made up of a whole bunch of loose ends that were never tied up. The brightest spot was the casting of Anna Massey as Lewis' girlfriend. She brought an honesty to the role, and her plain looks brought a certain beauty to the part that a more traditionally glamorous actress might have spoiled.
Overall, not a bad movie but not a great one either, and Michael Powell didn't deserve to have his career ruined over it.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this