A Conversation for 'Peeping Tom' and 'Psycho': Reinventing The Horror Film

The effect on Powell and Hitchcock

Post 1

Jim Lynn

Another striking difference between the two films is the effect each had on its director. Psycho cemented Hitchcock's reputation as the master of suspense. This was always his intention with it. He made it after seeing the French film 'Les Diaboliques' - apparently upset that someone else should be gaining plaudits for groundbreaking horror and suspense - something he felt was his niche. Psycho was his answer to those who thought Hitchcock couldn't deliver those kinds of scares. It was also a major reason the filom was shot in monochrome rather than colour (although shooting monochrome meant he could famously substitute chocolate sauce for blood).

After Peeping Tom, Michael Powell was almost a pariah. Before that he was one of Britain's foremost directors - his partnership with Emeric Pressburger had produced some remarkable films, including 'A Matter of Life and Death' and 'Black Narcissus'. But Peeping Tom was so reviled on its release that his reputation never truly recovered. He was regarded almost as a pornographer. As a result he found it difficult to raise interest in his projects, and Peeping Tom remains his last great film.

The effect on Powell and Hitchcock

Post 2

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

I just wanted to thank Big Mr Mad T for this entry. I had never heard of "Peeping Tom" before, but I think the differences and similarities between the two movies are very interesting.

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