Peeping Tom (1960) Michael Powell

Peeping Tom (1960) Michael Powell

Peeping Tom (1960)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Michael Powell
Country: UK
Language: English
Subtitles: English (.srt file)
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.66.1
Length: 102mn
File: Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 720x416 - 23fps - 1.45gb

Description
As a boy, Mark Lewis was subjected to bizarre experiments by his scientist-father, who wanted to study and record the effects of fear on the nervous system. Now grown up, both of his parents dead, Mark works by day as a focus-puller for a London movie studio. He moonlights by taking girlie pictures above a news agent's shop. But Mark has also taken up a horrifying hobby: He murders women while using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror. One evening, Mark meets and befriends Helen Stephens, a young woman who rents one of the rooms in his house. Does Helen represent some kind of possible redemption for Mark - or is she unknowingly running the risk of becoming one of his victims?

To understand the stir that Peeping Tom caused when it was released in 1960, you need to think about what audiences at that time were accustomed to when they went to the cinema. Innocent love stories, historical epics, action-packed westerns and colourful musicals were the staple cinematic diet of the time, certainly not dark, disturbing and intensely violent murder thrillers like this. What probably unsettled contemporary film-goers even more was the fact that a film of this kind could come from a much-loved and revered director like Michael Powell. In modern times, the equivalent would be if Steven Spielberg were to make a graphic and reviled film about paedophilia or bestiality, consequently never being allowed to stand behind a movie camera again. When Peeping Tom hit the big screen, it was rejected by the public and crucified by the critics, and left Powell's hitherto glorious career in ruin.

Peeping Tom is one of the few films that still has the power to shock all these years on. Psycho, released roughly at the same time, is still a great film but its shock value has been diminished by years of repeat viewings and increasing permissiveness in the cinema. But Peeping Tom is an altogether more disturbing piece of work. Boehm is excellent as the killer whose entire outlook has been skewed by his father's experiments. Also impressive is Anna Massey as the killer's fragile and unsuspecting fiancée. Powell directs the film brilliantly, using bold and dazzling colours to disguise the horrific atrocities that punctuate his film. It is understandable that the film was met with revulsion and rejection at that time, but in retrospect it is a film of real importance and power. In a 21st century world bombarded and desensitised by harrowing images on the news and in the movies, the theme of losing one's grasp on what is and isn't morally acceptable is more pertinent than ever. This is not easy viewing, but it IS essential viewing.

IMDB


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