Michael PowellUK101 minutes1960ColourEnglish
Michael Powell's once notorious case study about a psychosexually damaged cameraman whose murderous voyeurism leads him to kill young women has been reclaimed from infamy as a prescient masterpiece.
"The original first-person horror film" (J. Hoberman), Peeping Tom proved a disaster for once revered director Michael Powell, who was pilloried in the press for the film's perverse subject matter and soon found himself virtually unemployable in the British film industry; Powell lived to have the last laugh, however, as his one-time film maudit was subsequently reclaimed from infamy and hailed as a prescient masterpiece. While working as a focus puller and part-time porn cameraman, Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) pursues his own personal cinematic project: filming the terrified final moments of the young women he murders. Befriended by Helen (Anna Massey), the kindly daughter of his downstairs neighbour, Mark reveals the details of the horrifying childhood that made him a monster — but the ray of hope he finds in Helen is not enough to banish the darkness inside him. "Peeping Tom and Fellini's 8½ are the two great films that deal with the philosophy and danger of filmmaking" (Martin Scorsese).