Tom, Michael And George

Toby Jones marks the 50th anniversary of notorious British horror film 'Peeping Tom' and examines the effect of this disturbing tale of 'glamour photographer turned serial killer' on the careers of two people - the director Michael Powell and real-life glamour photographer George Harrison Marks. Condemnation of 'Peeping Tom' was almost universal, with Sunday Times critic Dilys Powell describing the film as "essentially vicious" and other critics being less generous in their views - " the sickest and filthiest film I can remember seeing" was a fairly typical response. Anglo-Amalgamated, who had financed the film, were alarmed at the furore and curtailed the film's UK distribution, selling it on. The film resurfaced in the United States and Europe a couple of years later but in a cut version. When the film arrived at the BBFC in 1960, seven cuts were made in order to allow the film to be classified at 'X'. For Michael Powell, the hostile reaction to this movie effectively ended his long and illustrious career - which at its height included 'The Red Shoes' and 'A Matter of Life and Death'. The movie was only recognised as a masterpiece in the late 1970s, thanks to the efforts of Martin Scorsese. Conversely, for Harrison Marks, a consultant on the film (which utilised his sets and model/partner Pamela Green) this boosted his career, leading to the first British feature film to include nudity (under the guise of a "documentary" about naturism). With contributions from Columba Powell, Shirley Anne Field and Michael Winner.


  • 2010-11-02 11:30:00 - 2010-11-02 12:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,