Movie Magazine International

Peeping Tom

UK - 1960

Movie Review By Monica Sullivan

"Peeping Tom" was made in 1960, the same year as Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", but Powell's film was much kinkier and demanded far more from its audiences than the wildly successful "Psycho" did. It is not hard to sympathize with the shy, softspoken innkeeper played by Anthony Perkins and to wonder if maybe he and Janet Leigh will have a romance, but you want to warn innocent Anna Massey to stay away from the obsessed photographer portrayed by Carl Boehm. "Peeping Tom" was panned upon release by critics who had apparently thought Michael Powell was the maker of staid and genteel films. They must have gone out for popcorn when Kathleen Byron's insane nun applied her lipstick in "Black Narcissus", for Powell had slipped in a hint of the dark side of human nature in many of his films. He doesn't pull any punches in "Peeping Tom", and the film emerges as one of the most fascinating character studies of a killer ever put on film. That's Powell, by the way, in the old home movies showing the photographer's father.

© 2001 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 7/18/01

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