Peeping Tom

BookPeeping Tom

Peeping Tom

Devil's Advocates


December 12th, 2020



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Reviled on its release, Peeping Tom (1960) all-but ended the career of director Michael Powell, previously one of Britain's most revered filmmakers. The story of a murderous cameraman and his compulsion to record his killings, Powell's film stunned the same critics who had acclaimed him for the work he'd made with writer-producer Emeric Pressburger (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, 1943; A Matter of Life and Death, 1946), resulting in the film falling out of circulation almost as soon as it was released. It took the 1970s 'Movie Brat' generation to rehabilitate the director, and the film, which is now regarded as a masterpiece. In this Devil's Advocate, published to coincide with the film's 60th anniversary, Kiri Walden charts the origins, production and devastating critical reception of Peeping Tom, comparing it to the treatment meted out to its contemporary horror classic, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960).

Author Information

Kiri Bloom Walden teaches film and cultural studies at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education. She is the author of two other books and her research interests include British film history, Victorian women’s magazines, ballet history and the circus.