Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological horror-thriller film directed by Michael Powell from a screenplay by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks.
The title derives from the slang expression ‘peeping Tom’ describing a voyeur. The film revolves around a serial killer who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror.
The Anglo-Amalgamated production’s controversial subject and the extremely harsh reception by critics effectively destroyed Powell’s career as a director in the United Kingdom. However, partly due to its championing by director Martin Scorcese, it attracted a cult following, and in later years, it has been re-evaluated and is now considered a masterpiece.
The British Studio Canal/Optimum Releasing Blu-ray contains the following extras:
An introduction by director Martin Scorsese.
Eye of the Beholder featurette. Scorsese, film critic Ian Christie, Thelma Schoonmaker, Professor Laura Mulvey and Karlheinz Bohm discuss the film’s history. (19min).
The Strange Gaze of Mark Lewis documentary. Director Bertrand Tavernier, film historian Charles Drazin and psychiatrist Doctor Olivier Bouvet give an overview of Powell’s body of work. In English and French. (25min).
Thelma Schoonmaker interview. Powell’s widow looks at Scorsese’s efforts to re-release the film. (11min).
Restoration comparison (7min).
Trailer. In English. (3min).
Ian Christie commentary, in which the film critic deconstructs the film.
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Cast and characters:
Carl Boehm as Mark Lewis
Anna Massey as Helen Stephens
Moira Shearer as Vivian
Maxine Audley as Mrs Stephens
Brenda Bruce as Dora
Miles Malleson as Elderly gentleman customer
Esmond Knight as Arthur Baden
Martin Miller as Dr Rosan
Michael Goodliffe as Don Jarvis
Jack Watson as Chief Insp. Gregg
Nigel Davenport as Det. Sgt. Miller
Shirley Anne Field as Diane Ashley
Pamela Green as Milly, the model (Legend of the Werewolf)
Michael Powell as A.N. Lewis
Columba Powell as Young Mark Lewis
John Barrard as Small Man [uncredited]
Cornelia Frances Girl in sports car leaving studio [uncredited]