Peeping Tom (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
We've already seen the terror on the faces of women Mark has killed, so we know what Helen sees. We can't turn away any more than she can, even as she backs out of the room, knowing but not wanting to admit that the man she loves put a blade through women's throats and photographed them watching their own deaths with a mirror attached to the camera.
Like Psycho, Peeping Tom is the story of a grown-up child who can't get rid of a parent. But Peeping Tom is better. The characters in Peeping Tom are more believable than the puppets Hitchcock moves around to create his "pure cinema." As freakish as Norman Bates is, as a personification of insanity he's as much a straw figure as Mother in the attic.
Peeping Tom offended its audiences so much that it was pulled from theaters, wrecking director Michael Powell's career, so the story goes.
Peeping Tom isn't more violent or sexually explicit than other movies from the time. We turn away from the victims as Mark's blade enters their throats. Even when he uses his camera-weapon on himself we don't see any blood. More horrific is Anna Massey as Helen watching the snuff film Mark left on the projector. (Did he leave it for her to find because he wanted her to see "the documentary" he was making, the way she showed him the children's book she was writing?) The scene that made me cringe the most was Mark playing tape recordings his father (an experimental biologist) made while exposing his son to frightening stimuli.Read more ›
Carl Boehm plays Mark Lewis, by day a camera assistant at a film studio, by night a photographer for girly magazines who murders women and films them while he's doing so. Why does he do so? It gives him a sexual rush to see the fear in their eyes when they realize they are going to be killed. His father was a biologist, he explains to Helen (Anna Massey), a young woman who lives in his building, and his father was especially interested in fear in children, so he made Mark a test subject. You can see the connection here: a bruised childhood leading to abnormal adult behavior.
The relationship between Mark and Helen is a peculiar one. She is terribly curious about him; at first she seems to think he's a nice young man, but during their first encounter, Mark shows her some strange film and she becomes outraged, yet she does not run away. Her interest in him seems to only grow, despite his clearly creepy ways. In an ordinary film, Mark would be a villain, and we would hate him, because he is a murderer. But what Peeping Tom asks is for us to sympathize with this man, because it is not entirely his fault that he is the way he is. The major conflict in the film is between Mark and himself, as he struggles to suppress his urges and contain his own fears.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to watch this for a college class. Not something I would recommend.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautifully crafted film by Michael Powell to be later redone by Hitchcock as Frenzy. Interesting to see both and compare. AlwYs steal from the best!
Peeping Tom is perhaps not quite the life-changing gem that some cinephiles (including Martin Scorsese) sell it as; though heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, this film is both... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Erik Bateson
Poorly developed main character with many plot holes and things that don't quite make sense.Published 11 months ago by joshua martin
great movie and was well made interesting enough the guy who directed this worked with Alfred Hitchcock when Alfred left and came to the united states to movies like Birds and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by tanya nicole cook
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