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Episode 44: Peeping Tom (1960)

When Martin Scorsese brought Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom back from its longtime purgatory, the word on the street was that it was a piece of transgressive cinema from an acclaimed director, *before* Psycho, which caught a lot of hell it didn’t deserve, and largely ended its creator’s career.

What lingers about Peeping Tom is its sense of tragedy: its betrayal of trust. The magnificently dramatic collision of Anna Massey’s devoted and naive Helen, and Karlheinz Bohm’s Mark, an introverted, outsider (literally, he’s from another country) with a psychotic urge instilled in him by his father.

Peeping Tom wasn’t created with broad appeal in mind. When you get right down to it, Peeping Tom is essentially a rebellious statement made at a turning point in Powell’s career. It’s an obliteration of expectations; and career-wise a costly one.

On this episode of Captive Eye (formerly Diabolique Webcast), writer/producer/director J. P. Ouillette and Prof. David Kleiler join me to discuss director Michael Powell’s intriguingly meticulous 1960 classic.

About Steve HeadAbout David KleilerAbout J. P. Ouillette

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About Stephen Slaughter Head

Stephen Slaughter Head was co-editor of the Star Wars website, co-founder of the much-loved movie news website IGN FilmForce, and editor of the movie section at AOL’s As a film journalist he has more than 2,000 published articles at His work has also appeared on, and in Esquire magazine and the Boston Phoenix. Stephen hosts the Diabolique Webcast.

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