I just saw a collectors’ private 35mm IB print of this fantastic film, and there is a bit of nudity which is not present on the Criterion disc. Perhaps Criterion could look this up before they eventually re-release it to BD.
really interesting information Mark. thank you. Peeping Tom is one of the most overlooked films of that time period.
I would kill with my camera to see this projected on a big screen.
Thanks for pointing this out. I hate it when bits of a film mysteriously disappear. I have seen this in so many examples of films I have seen on television first, and then seen on an uncut dvd. You never know, of course, what you are missing until you see the complete version. I had recorded The Shining, for example, from TV. When I finally saw it on dvd, I was shocked that some key scenes had been cut from the version I was familiar with – again those involving nudity. What in the hell is the problem with nudity as re the showing of these films? I suggest we always look for uncut versions of all films that we love, because you might see whole scenes you never expected existed. In any case, Criterion should know about this.
Bob-We can’t be showing nudity on broadcast TV. Some 8 year old might catch a glimpse and be corrupted for life. God forbid. Thought it brave when some broadcast stations showed Saving Private Ryan with the language uncensored and Schindlers List with the shower scenes intact. ltho some stations, mainly in the bible belt refused to air them. Thank god for cable. I’m old enough to remember when married couples on tv shows had seperate beds and toilets could not be shown.
I had to attend a class to see it, a fluke really……and Alex was it as good as it sounds? Amazing print, the Criterion disc is accurate with the colors as it matched this pristine print frame per frame. I had the disc first and I myself had never seen it projected. I just wilted in my seat after the end credits
Steve: Isn’t it shocking that so much can still be censored still today – esp. in those ‘bible belt’ states? It’s funny that violence is usually OK, but not nudity or swearing. If there were a strong Supreme Court, this type of censorship would have been challenged and over-turned years ago. We live in an ultra-conservative age, although I, too, am old enough to rememeber those same things that you do. Even the term ‘breast’ was not allowed – it was ‘chests’. Remember the line in Some Like It Hot: Lemmon says to Curtis when he dislocates one of his fake breasts: “You tore off my chest.” Oh, for a more liberal, open time – may it come soon!
Perhaps I should clarify the moment; I believe two versions of the same scene must have been shot with one clothed and the other not. I think it adds a dangerous and also misleading element to Mark’s character, because what really interests him is FEAR and not sexuality per so the scene really is edgier with the brief nude shot and therefore is thematically relevant.
It is halfway in the film when Mark realizes that perhaps he is being followed by the cozzers, and he goes to the news agents to take more pictures of Milly; as she is reclining on the settee for the shot Mark wants to take of her, she undoes her blouse and exposes her breasts; on the DVD she is c loathed (load up your discs and watch). One thing I did not do is to see whether or not the scene is actually in the extras…..OOOOPPS!!! Maybe this post is now irrelevant.
Short story which I think is amusing… after a couple of years of discovering Powell, mostly via Criterion and Mr Scorcese’s urgings I mentioned him to an actress friend. She told me that a great friend of hers, who I knew, was his niece, a certain red headed Australian actress. Next time I saw her I started waxing lyrical about Mr Powell, she said that indeed he was her uncle and had given her a start in films, with a part in the party scene of Peeping Tom! I then went on about how much I loved ‘I Know Where I’m Going’…. she cooled a little and then said… ‘yes, that was the one he ran off with that bitch Pamela Brown, making my aunt miserable’!!
whoops… the aunt was one of her parents sisters!
The conversation kind of trailed off………..and then again, look at Pamela, who could blame him?!
Interestingly after he became persona non grata post Peeping Tom he came to Australia and made a couple of films… ’They’re a Wierd Mob’ is a bit of a time capsule curio and I’ve never seen ‘Age of Consent’…. maybe it’s worth discovering?
In fact, just got “Age of Consent” on DVD today paired with “Matter of Life and Death”; can’t wait to see them both.
Although one of my Powell favorites is “Black Narcissus” which came out in a wonderful PAL French DVD, it is the best looking transfer of it so far on standard DVD (yes, better than Criterion); the BD will undoubtedly beat all of them, but I’m waiting for a Region A before buying even if the current British BD issue is all region for the feature; I want the xtras also.
I have written briefly about Age of Consent (saw it on TCM last year in a Powell retrospective introduced by his last wife – not Pamela) on a much earlier thread. It is definitely not vintage Powell, but interesting as it is early Helen Mirren – and she has a brief nude shot (not her last in film, thank goodness). James Mason plays the aging artist who spots her and…Well, just have to see for yourself.
Here is what actress Pamela Green wrote on her shoot and about the scene being removed after the initial screening and subsequent panning from critics.
I see that DVD is out…. I’ll grab it even if I have Matter of Life & Death twice already! arrgghh.
and mark I agree with you on that DVD of Black N… it even is more glorious than the Criterion, and that almost never happens.
Bob… we’ve got to stop meeting like this! and Helen Mirren?…. I think I might watch ‘The Cook, The Thief ..’ tonight, now that you’ve reminded me ! thanks…….
Tros… thanks for the link…
ps… His last wife was Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorcese’s long time editor. I think she met Powell after Marty rediscovered Peeping Tom and presented it at a New York festival in 1979?
Can we port this conversation over to the “Importance of seeing a film in a theater” thread please? This is such a good example of the weird and fascinating historical surprises that can turn up when watching prints. I’m pretty jealous Mark. Any ideas about the print source?
He’s a friend of mine here in Montreal and he is a programmer for one of the film festivals. The print is with English audio but has what appears to be Swedish or Danish subs.
Ben, how do I port this over to that thread?
I have the PAL version of peeping tom and i can’t recall if it was uncut or not.
M., if u could verify this for us…that would be nice.
Well, you said it was a collector’s private print, right? That’s why the scenes you saw in that print aren’t in the Criterion DVD. For films of this nature and level of infamy (and of this era), it can be nearly impossible to find a decent print. When my friends at the Plaza Theater in Atlanta scored an undamaged, uncut print of Last house On The Left, it was something of a news event to the horror community because that print hadn’t been seen in something like 25 years. Point is, finding good prints of these films is difficult. Cut them some slack.
Great point, Will. To be specific, finding a legal print of such cuts is not easy. For all we know, Criterion is completely aware of this alternate version of Peeping Tom, but cannot do much about it.