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/Optium 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).
• Stills gallery.
• Ian Christie commentary, in which the film critic deconstructs the film.
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk
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 Doctor 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]