Peeping Tom (1960)

MICHAEL POWELL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  United Kingdom1960.  Michael Powell.  Story and Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Michael Powell.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , , .  Film Editing by .  

Michael Powell practically ended his fantastic directorial career with the overwhelming controversy over this film. It stars  (aka Carl Boehm) as an obsessive photographer who murders women while forcing them to watch themselves be killed. Eventually his goodhearted neighbour (a marvelous ) discovers his terrible secret after learning about his terrifying childhood. The film itself isn’t nearly as good as most of Powell’s best work, especially since the subject matter is less controversial now and leaves a story that most audiences have seen many times since, but its excellent screenplay features a level of psychological deconstruction of character that was virtually unheard of in cinema at the time of release. Alfred Hitchcock was apparently so distressed by the influence the critics had on audiences in destroying the film’s reception before it was even released that he didn’t allow any press to watch Psycho before the public did.

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