7.7/10
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Peeping Tom (1960)

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

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

Director:

Michael Powell

Writers:

Leo Marks (original story), Leo Marks (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Karlheinz Böhm ... Mark Lewis (as Carl Boehm)
Moira Shearer ... Vivian
Anna Massey ... Helen Stephens
Maxine Audley ... Mrs. Stephens
Brenda Bruce ... Dora
Miles Malleson ... Elderly Gentleman Customer
Esmond Knight ... Arthur Baden
Martin Miller ... Dr. Rosen
Michael Goodliffe ... Don Jarvis
Jack Watson ... Chief Insp. Gregg
Shirley Anne Field ... Pauline Shields (as Shirley Ann Field)
Pamela Green ... Milly
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Storyline

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 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 movies" of convulsed... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

marked for death by Peeping Tom - To Look Meant Danger To Smile Meant Death! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face of Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£135,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,752, 7 May 1999

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

The film proved to be problematic for the BBFC who demanded around 7 mins of cuts. Among these were reductions to the murder scenes, closeups of the spike on Mark's camera, all shots of nude girls in photo albums and on colour slides, closeups of a woman's disfigured face, shots of Milly lying on the bed, and dialogue during the conversation between the police officers in the car. Later video and DVD releases contain much of the footage, suggesting that not all of the cuts were made, although the original uncut print now appears to be lost forever. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Screen Two: The McGuffin (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peeping Tom (1960)
3 April 2005 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I've watched Michael Powell['s PEEPING TOM a couple of times on TV but I've yet to give my Criterion DVD a spin. Certainly one of the most original, challenging and bleakest films ever made and to have come from a British film-maker, albeit an iconoclastic one, makes the achievement all the more remarkable. While I do think that comparisons to its contemporary PSYCHO (1960) are a bit tenuous, it has to be said that both films can be thought of as belonging to the horror genre – in fact, PEEPING TOM was the third British "slasher" movie in a row, following HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959) and CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1960) - but can also lay claim to being a very dark sort of black comedy. Besides, both films feature dysfunctional, immature, adult male protagonists haunted by a terrible upbringing which vents itself in a series of murders. Furthermore, while both films have been harshly reviled by critics when first released, in time, they have had their reputations make a complete about face and nowadays are numbered among their respective directors' unassailable masterpieces!


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