Peeping Tom (film)

1960 film by Michael Powell

Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller and horror film that revolves around a serial killer who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror. Its derives from the slang expression 'Peeping Tom', which describes a voyeur.

Directed by Michael Powell, written by Leo Marks.


Carl Boehm as Mark
  • Whatever I photograph, I always lose.
  • Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? It's fear. So I did something very simple. Very simple. When they felt the spike... touching their throat, and knew I was going to kill them, I made them watch their own deaths. I made them see... their own terror as the spike went in. And if death has a face, they saw that too. But not you. I promised I'd never photograph you. Not you.
  • I'm afraid. And I'm glad I'm afraid.

Mrs. StephensEdit

  • Take me to your cinema.
  • Instinct's a wonderful thing, isn't it, Mark? A pity it can't be photographed. [...] So, I'm listening to my instinct now. And it says all this filming isn't healthy, and that you need help.


  • The silly bitch! She's fainted in the wrong scene!


Helen: Mark, what was he trying to do to you?
Mark: Watch me grow up. He wanted a record of a growing child, complete in every detail, if such a thing were possible. And he tried to make it possible by training a camera on me at all times. I never knew the whole of my childhood one moment's privacy. And those lights in your eyes and that thing. He was interested in the reactions... of the nervous system to... to fear.

Vivian: Now what are you doing?
Mark: Photographing you photographing me.

Vivian: What would frighten me to death? Oh, set the mood for me, Mark.
Mark: Imagine... someone coming towards you... who wants to kill you... regardless of the consequences.
Vivian: A madman?
Mark: Yes. But he knows it, and you don't. And just to kill you isn't enough for him. Stay there, Viv. You're just right.
Vivian: But I can't imagine what you've thought of.
Mark: [he opens the tripod of his movie camera] Imagine... this would be one of his weapon.

Mrs. Stephens: Helen?
Helen: Yes?
Mrs. Stephens: Doesn't matter.
Helen: Mother, what's worrying you?
Mrs. Stephens: The price of whiskey.

Mrs. Stephens: I don't trust a man who walks quietly.
Helen: He's shy.
Mrs. Stephens: His footsteps aren't. They're stealthy.

Mark: The lights fade too soon!
Mrs. Stephens: They always do.

Mrs. Stephens: Why don't we make him a present of that window? He practically lives there.
Helen: How did you know he was there?
Mrs. Stephens: The back of my neck told me. The part that I talk out of.

Mark: I-I don't remember what he called it, but it has something to do with what... what causes people to be Peeping Toms.
Dr. Rosan: Scoptophilia, that would interest him. Most fertile mind.
Mark: Scopto...
Dr. Rosan: ...philia. The morbid urge to gaze.

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