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Thread: Peeping Tom

  1. #1
    c.n.-tonfilm
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    It is well known, that PEEEPING TOM suffered from different censorship since it was produced, until Martin Scorsese tried to restore the film and initiated its rediscovering when the film was shown in September 1979 in New York in a version which was said to be unabridged. Nevertheless to me there are various inconsistencies about the version of PEEPING TOM which is available today. The original version seemed to have been much longer, but nowhere I could find details so far which would explain the mystery about different running times I'm giving to you now, below:



    When the film was first submitted to the BBFC http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ on 22. March, 1960, it had a runtime of 108 minutes 46 seconds (this is theatrical speed standard of 24 pictures per second), so it would be 104'31 at TV and video standard which has 25 pps. It is indicated that cuts were made, but no details are given. As I live in Germany, I have no idea if the BBFC may have further and detailed information in documents, which have not been officially published and what would be the easiest way to get them.



    A Reynolds News critic of 10.04.1960 says, that PEEPING TOM was measured 9789 foot after a shocking scene was cut out by the censor, in which a woman is brutally murdered, because this would have been too terrible even for a x-rating. 9789 foot is a running time of 109'04 at a speed of 24 pps and 104'42 with 25 pps. So it would be naturally longer after the BBFC cuts than before, which cannot be correct. However the running times are so similar that the critic quoted possibly inadvertently the running time before the cuts (even a critic won't quote such an exact figure just for fun). The minimale differences in running times may be just a result of distributor title cards or anything like that, which were or weren't included in the measurement.



    When a thearical version of PEEPING TOM was classified again by the BBFC in Britain 16. September 1994 it only had a runtime of 101'16 (24 pps) which turns out to be 97'14 (25 pps) in video inches. The Warner/Studio Canal+ DVD of PEEPING TOM has a runtime of 97'07 (25 pps), as given by the BBFC classification from 01. February 2001. The NTSC Criterion DVD has a runtime of 101'11 (24 pps) containing the same version as the British DVD.



    How does this fit however now together with the reconstruction of Martin Scorsese ? PEEPING TOM had its USA release under the titles FACE OF FEAR and THE FOTOGRAPHER OF PANIC much later on 15.05.1962 in the USA. The American theatrical length was 86'00 approx which would be a runtime of 82'33 in video inches. So Scorsese already would have to do a huge restoration job even to achieve the length of the 97'07-version we all know today. But otherwise it is stated, that Scorsese and Powell discovered the films' original negative, so he would have tried to reconstruct the original full length version. If some film elements would have been irreparably lost, this information should have been given somewhere. But the 97'07-version seems to be assumed as the entire version of that film by everybody today. I simply can't believe that this is correct due to all that facts.



    Some years ago the film script by Leo Marks was published. I was strained like a tearing elbow. But after examination I found no scenes therein, which are missing in the film. However the question remains whether it was really the original film script or only a transcription of the film itself (in the version we know today) as I assume. So thus again no step forward in lightening the censorship of PEEPING TOM.



    Does anybody know anything about sequences missing in the film today ? Does anybody know about the correct different running times in foot, which are given nowhere ? How the different lengths can be explained and what happend to the original version ?



    Thank you very much for your help.


  2. #2
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    probably a question for steve,i recorded and watched peeping tom on film four,and that critic geezer mark commode,lol (sorry couldn't resist)said that that it was the definitive cut is that so? also the really annoying thing all the way through was the print didn't seem to be centred, hence a gap down the right hand side of the screen? is the commercially released dvd a better quality print(if anyone saw the film four showing)

    cheers Ollie.


  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    ollie:

    probably a question for steve,i recorded and watched peeping tom on film four,and that critic geezer mark commode,lol (sorry couldn't resist)said that that it was the definitive cut is that so? also the really annoying thing all the way through was the print didn't seem to be centred, hence a gap down the right hand side of the screen? is the commercially released dvd a better quality print(if anyone saw the film four showing)

    cheers Ollie.
    I didn't watch the FilmFour screening of it but it sounds like a bad set-up by the broadcaster. All the tapes & DVDs I have of it have it centred nicely.



    There are a few DVDs of it but as the Criterion one doesn't have any region coding that's the best one.



    It's meant to be in 1.66:1 ratio so don't expect it to a very wide widescreen.



    Steve

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    As for the one they showed on FilmFour being the definitive cut, it's hard to find any other version.



    There are rumours that the scene towards the end where Milly lays on the bed to be photographed was cut in the original American release. But as she only bares her boobs briefly I don't think that'd make much difference anyway.



    Steve



    "All this filming - it's not healthy"

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    Thanks steve for the info thumbs_u i'll check the criterion one out,i dont remember milly flashing her wotsits i must be slippin in me old age,better go back and check.lol

    cheers Ollie.

  6. #6
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    The original presentation of the film was 108m46s and was cut to 101m16s in 1960. By the way Steve, Pam green will attend the next screening of Peeping Tom, provided not much travel is involved (she lives on the south coast), as long as she is given plenty of notice. She made it to the NFT screening of Michael Powell shorts some years ago.

  7. #7
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    ollie:

    Thanks steve for the info thumbs_u i'll check the criterion one out,i dont remember milly flashing her wotsits i must be slippin in me old age,better go back and check.lol

    cheers Ollie.
    You have to be very quick to notice them :)



    Steve

  8. #8
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    JamesM:

    The original presentation of the film was 108m46s and was cut to 101m16s in 1960. By the way Steve, Pam green will attend the next screening of Peeping Tom, provided not much travel is involved (she lives on the south coast), as long as she is given plenty of notice. She made it to the NFT screening of Michael Powell shorts some years ago.
    Thanks James, it'll be great to meet her. I'm sure it'll be showing somewhere next year as that's Powell's centenary year and we can lay on a bit of razzamatazz for her :)



    I'll have a word with the people at Canterbury.



    You're right in saying that the original presentation was 6 1/2 mins longer than the version we usually see. But I think that longer version was only ever shown at the press screening that attracted all the bad reviews, never in public. I have never heard any details of what they cut and the version on the DVDs is the same as the one in the BFI archives.



    Steve

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    Cornerhouse Cinema in manchester recently showed this, great to see it on the big screen

  10. #10
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (4737carlin @ Feb 1 2006, 03:21 PM)

    Cornerhouse Cinema in manchester recently showed this, great to see it on the big screen
    That's true of many of the older films. They were made to be seen on a big screen, not a TV (not even a big one). It really does make a difference with a lot of them.



    Steve

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