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The Collector

96 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Oct 01, 2002)
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$14.98 $4.86
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Editorial Reviews

Get ready for an electrifying and chilling film experience that lays bare the intimate longings of a man--and the woman who has become his captive. Based on the best-selling novel by John Fowles, THECOLLECTOR tells the story of a quiet London bank clerk (Terence Stamp) whose butterfly collecting hobby takes a sinister twist when he kidnaps a most unusual specimen- a beautiful woman (Samantha Eggar, Golden Globe(r) Best Actress winner for this role)! This film is a classic thriller and features ahaunting musical score by Maurice Jarre.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Samantha Eggar, Terence Stamp, Mona Washbourne
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Producers: Jud Kinberg, John Kohn
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Columbia Tri/Star
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RJ5W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Collector" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Chris Rau on February 23, 2007
Format: DVD
One STAR is too many, but there was no goose egg!

I really hate to slam this beautiful movie, but after buying it, I felt betrayed and wanted to try to prevent others from having the same problem.

Wyler's work is always fabulous, which makes it especially hurtful to see his film butchered in this fashion - yes I said BUTCHERED.

I just purchased "The Collector" on DVD (Columbia 07893 - ISBN 0-7678-8288-1) after already owning the same title on LaserDisk.

I have criticisms of both the TRANSFER, and the CONTENT.


IMDB Lists the original film as "Spherical 1.78:1 aspect ratio" - If this is true, then the DVD has been way over-masked because the LaserDisk version has a mask that shows about 30% more picture content on the top and bottom of the field. It appears that the studio simply took a 4:3 version of the film and transferred it to DVD by cutting off the top and bottom to make it 16x9, rather than finding an original widescreen print to transfer. Compare it with anything... even video tape to see what I mean. Horrible. They have a lot of nerve advertising "Preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio" on the DVD package.

The print they started with is not in very good condition. It exhibits signs of sprocket wear (side to side picture shifting) as well as specks of dirt on the film and splice jumps.

In short, the film was given the "quick and dirty" transfer, not the "lovingly carefull" one it deserves.


As others on this forum have noted, the seduction scene is highly mutilated. Gone is the tender moment of frontal nudity, as well as side angles - thus stripping the scene of it's innocence and impact almost completely. All have been cunningly "panned and scanned" away. The DVD box claims the film is "not rated" - it should really say "Why Bother".

I cannot recommend this version at all, I am sorry to say.
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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kesler on February 20, 2003
Format: DVD
"The Collector" falls within the "Psycho" tradition in focusing on the repressed sexual longings of a quietly alienated loner, but it's closer to "Peeping Tom" in portraying the sympathetic side of the killer. This is highlighted, first, by the performances themselves, which are superficially cold but in reality display a great deal of underlying warmth. But it's also underscored by the fact that William Wyler's madman is only an accidental murderer, his intention being only to harbor his object of desire, not murder her (murder, as it happens, being simply the "collateral" result of his own perversity).
"The Collector," in fact, is probably the most humanized portrait of a sociopath ever put on film, and Terence Stamp makes us realize in every scene just how starved for affection he is. Not even "Peeping Tom" rivals it in this respect, since the analytical approach of Michael Powell toward his deranged protagonist, not to mention the peculiar fetishism involved, prevents us from really identifying with him. By contrast, Stamp's character could easily represent any otherwise "normal" human being, who is merely more estranged and sensitive than most.
The DVD transfer of the film is fine, certainly not the best conversion of a sixties film I've seen, but still doing credit to the film. The sound is also superior, and I personally love Maurice Jarre's theme music, particularly the beautifully orchestrated version played during the closing
One caution, however: this DVD has been edited slightly, and those used to seeing the brief frontal nudity of Ms. Eggar during the "seduction" sequence in the final quarter of the film will search in vain for it here.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alistair McHarg on June 7, 2006
Format: DVD
This 40-year-old specimen by legendary director William Wyler will enhance any collection of fine film. You may have trouble recognizing a very young Terence Stamp, whose performance as a painfully shy office clerk who hits the lottery will give you chills. Samantha Eggar, lovely as the focus of his attention, gives a compelling performance and is in many ways the film's centerpiece. Based on the novel by truly gifted author John Fowles, The Collector chronicles a subtle, incremental descent into madness and cruelty with such skill that viewers are engaged throughout, indeed, it is the ability of the film to penetrate the viewer's own psychology that gives it its real power.

Stamp's Freddie Clegg, newly rich, is free to indulge his eccentricities fully, without fear of repercussion. While his passion has always been butterfly collecting, Freddie, socially inept and pathologically lonely, slips into another level; he "collects" Eggar's Miranda Grey and keeps her captive in his remote estate. With pathetic innocence he lavishes care on her, imaging that she will be won over and come to love him in her time. She cringes through this process, and we cringe with her. The entire situation is unbearably creepy, made all the creepier because of the nuance and exceptional acting.

Hoping all the while that Miranda will find salvation, we know in our heart of hearts that such situations rarely end well. Miranda's response to imprisonment evolves, we see her trying new tactics, we root for her. Because we're involved, everything that happens has meaning. This film contains virtually no physical violence, (certainly no hideous language, stacks of corpses, or nail gun brain surgery), indeed, it may be the most sympathetic portrayal of a stalker ever made.
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