Peeping Tom

Loner Mark Lewis works at a film studio during the day and, at night, takes racy photographs of women. Also he’s making a documentary on fear, which involves recording the reactions of victims as he murders them. He befriends Helen, the daughter of the family living in the apartment below his, and he tells her vaguely about the movie he is making.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Mark Lewis: Karlheinz Böhm
  • Vivian: Moira Shearer
  • Helen Stephens: Anna Massey
  • Mrs. Stephens: Maxine Audley
  • Dora: Brenda Bruce
  • Elderly Gentleman Customer: Miles Malleson
  • Arthur Baden: Esmond Knight
  • Don Jarvis: Michael Goodliffe
  • Chief Insp. Gregg: Jack Watson
  • Pauline Shields: Shirley Anne Field
  • Milly: Pamela Green
  • Small Man (uncredited): John Barrard
  • Shop Assistant on Film Set (uncredited): Robert Crewdson
  • Det. Sgt. Miller (uncredited): Nigel Davenport
  • Mark’s Father – A.N. Lewis (uncredited): Michael Powell
  • Lorraine the Model (uncredited): Susan Travers
  • Dr. Rosen: Martin Miller
  • Det. Baxter (uncredited): Keith Baxter
  • Clapper Boy (uncredited): John Chappell
  • Young Man in Sports Car (uncredited): Roland Curram
  • Police Doctor (uncredited): John Dunbar
  • Publicity Chief (uncredited): Maurice Durant
  • Girl Electrician (uncredited): Paddi Edwards
  • Girl in Sports Car Leaving Studio (uncredited): Cornelia Frances
  • Miss Simpson – Jarvis’ Secretary (uncredited): Veronica Hurst
  • Lover in Garden (uncredited): M. Le Compte
  • Lover in Garden (uncredited): Mme. Le Compte
  • Mr. Peters – News Agent Shop Owner (uncredited): Bartlett Mullins
  • Young Man Embracing Girl (uncredited): Pete Murray
  • Mark’s Stepmother (uncredited): Margaret Neale
  • Mark as a Child (uncredited): Columba Powell
  • P. Tate – Studio Cameraman (uncredited): Guy Kingsley Poynter
  • Mark’s Mother on Deathbed (uncredited): Frankie Reidy
  • Store Detective (uncredited): Alan Rolfe
  • Electrician #1 (uncredited): Frank Singuineau
  • Mrs. Partridge (uncredited): Peggy Thorpe-Bates
  • Policeman (uncredited): Robert Vossler
  • Tony – Downstairs Lodger in Lewis’ House (uncredited): Brian Wallace
  • Assistant Director (uncredited): Brian Worth

Film Crew:

  • Director of Photography: Otto Heller
  • Camera Operator: Gerry Turpin
  • Sound Editor: Malcolm Cooke
  • Editor: Noreen Ackland
  • Producer: Michael Powell
  • Original Story: Leo Marks
  • Associate Producer: Albert Fennell
  • Music Director: Brian Easdale
  • Presenter: Nat Cohen
  • Art Direction: Arthur Lawson
  • Draughtsman: Maurice Pelling
  • Sound Recordist: Gordon K. McCallum
  • Assistant Editor: John Rushton
  • Set Dresser: Don Picton
  • Makeup Artist: W.T. Partleton
  • Focus Puller: Derek V. Browne
  • Second Assistant Director: Denis Johnson Jr
  • Sound Recordist: C. C. Stevens
  • Hairstylist: Pearl Orton
  • Continuity: Rita Davison
  • Assistant Art Director: Ivor Beddoes
  • Presenter: Stuart Levy
  • Assistant Director: Ted Sturgis
  • Focus Puller: Jim Body
  • Choreographer: Tommy Linden
  • Electrician: Vic Smith
  • Third Assistant Director: Carl Mannin
  • Production Manager: Alfred W. Marcus
  • Construction Manager: Ronnie Udell
  • Still Photographer: Norman Gryspeerdt
  • Assistant Editor: Alma Godfrey
  • Musician: Gordon Watson
  • Production Assistant: Judith Coxhead
  • Production Assistant: Bill Paton
  • Publicist: Bill Burnside

Movie Reviews:

  • John Chard: Fear and the Nervous System.

    Peeping Tom is directed by Michael Powell and written by Leo Marks. It stars Carl Boehm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey, Maxine Audley and Brenda Bruce. Music is by Brian Easdale and cinematography by Otto Heller.

    A famous (infamous) film for a number of reasons, not least that the fall out from its release effectively finished the career of the great Michael Powell. Interestingly now, still some 50 plus years later, there are still people discovering the film for the first time and not being sure what they have just watched; much like many critics back in 1960 as it happens! While horror seekers quite often come away disappointed that they haven’t seen a Jack the Ripper bloodshed movie. Apparently they see the words serial killer and expect gore and terror on tap.

    As fans of the film will attest, Peeping Tom isn’t that sort of serial killer film, it’s a fascinating piece of work. A cunningly crafted observation of a darkened mind, of voyeurism, loneliness and child abuse. From the opening strains of Easdale’s skin itching piano the mood is set, then the brilliantly lurid colour scheme comes into play as troubled Mark Lewis (Boehm) hones in on a victim, a lady of the night about to be filmed in the throes of death. It’s the start of Powell and Marks’ ploy to make us complicit in Lewis’ actions, and then the makers challenge us to sympathise with him as his back story is revealed and also as he struggles with his affections for Helen Stephens (Massey) in the present day.

    There is also a sly aside to the movie industry running through the picture, something which no doubt irked critics and film distributors back in 1960. There could maybe be an argument that the trauma and psychological thematics at work that underpin the plot are a little dated now? But what is still relevant is the film making – voyeurism angle as we today are constantly fed reality TV for entertainment purpose. The production is across the board grade “A”, the performances highly effective, with the unfairly maligned Boehm perfect as Lewis, the actor even providing shadings of Peter Lorre at times. Heller’s bold colour photography is disgustingly atmospheric, Easdale’s music a stalking menace and the sound department really come up trumps. Perfect.

    Then of course there is Powell himself, deeply hurt by the savaging he received when Tom was released, it’s nice to note that before he passed away in 1990 he would see the film become a highly regarded piece of film making. It and he deserves praise, his direction is conceptually daring, his framing of Lewis methodical, and of course his camera is our eyes and ears, uncomfortably so. A remarkable and genius film. 10/10

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