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What the Peeper Saw (1971)
"Diabólica malicia" (original title)

 -  Drama | Horror | Thriller  -  1971 (UK)
5.9
Your rating:
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 359 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

An wealthy author's second wife begins to suspect her 12-year old stepson may have murdered his mother whom mysteriously died in a bathtub accident.

Directors:

(as James Kelly) , (as Andrew White)
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Title: What the Peeper Saw (1971)

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Le strade di una grande città sono piene di cadaveri, ma la gente sembra non accorgersene e passa indifferente. Per volere delle autorità, i corpi di quei cittadini, uccisi perchè ribelli, ... See full summary »

Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Pierre Clémenti, Britt Ekland, Tomas Milian
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marcus
...
Elise
...
Paul
...
Dr. Viorne
...
Headmaster
Conchita Montes ...
Sophie
Colette Giacobine ...
Sarah (as Collette Jack)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Palacios
Emilio Rodríguez
Ricardo Valle
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Storyline

In this stylish and atmospheric psychological thriller reminiscent of Henry James's Turn of the Screw, a widowed English writer brings a young, glamorous new bride to his bleak, isolated home in rural Spain. She soon becomes obsessed with her 12-year old stepson, who she learns has just been expelled from school for mysterious offenses; while the boy enjoys, exploits, and feeds her increasing paranoia about him. That he is a brilliant and lonely child is obvious. But is he the victim of a neurotic woman's overwrought imagination-- in Shakespeare's words, the innocent flower, or the serpent under it? Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What he saw is what he did.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Night Child  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

ESP 19,904,254 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received minor cuts for its initial UK cinema release. However in 1978 the introduction of the Protection of Children Act caused the BBFC to withdraw the film where it received extensive cuts to all scenes where Elise strips in front of Marcus, shots of Marcus caressing Elise's breasts, and the complete removal of the bed scene between Elise and Marcus. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing performances in a lacklustre thriller
13 July 2008 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Night Hair Child has all the elements to be a disturbing and dark thriller; especially considering the sick and twisted plot line. However, despite a few interesting ideas; this film doesn't capitalise on them, and unfortunately it's only an average film that is nowhere near as disturbing as it could have been. The plot basically focuses on the idea of a 'problem child' causing problems between his parent and a new significant other. The problem child idea has been done many times throughout cinema; but a less common variant is a film like this, where sleaze take centre stage. However, such is the disappointment of Night Hair Child; not even the sleaze is all that prominent. The plot focuses on Elise; a beautiful young woman who has married older man Paul. Paul's wife apparently died in a strange bathtub incident and this has had a damning effect on her son Marcus, who unluckily for Elise, has returned home from school early and has took it upon himself to wreck their marriage by way of getting in between them with lies and bad behaviour.

The main problem with this film is definitely the acting. A plot like this needs strong performances from the leads and it just doesn't get them. Britt Ekland has been good in other films where a great performance is not needed; but she just doesn't have the talent for this role and despite looking nice, she doesn't deliver what is needed. Her opposite number is Mark Lester. I can completely understand the attraction of having the star of Oliver in a role as a twisted sex pervert; but unfortunately, he's a terrible actor that never conveys any emotion at all and simply does not convince in his role. He's also very irritating and every scene he features in is a struggle to get through. The plot is nowhere near as interesting as it could have been either; the exchanges between the central characters lack imagination, and only the scene where Britt Ekland strips for Mark Lester is really memorable; and it's not as memorable as a similar scene in Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling starring Barbara Bouchet. Overall, it's a shame but I wouldn't really say that this film is even worth a look.


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