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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Mark pulls up the leg of a camera when in a studio with Vivian, in one shot the leg's higher than in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

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

In the scene where Mark is about to kill the 'model' "Milly" she lays on the bed bare breasted. For the US version they had to re-shoot with her breasts covered. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Slumberparty Massacre (1982) See more »

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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face of Fear See more »

Filming Locations:

Fitzrovia, London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP135,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,640
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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