Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Collector (1965)

A man kidnaps a woman and holds her hostage just for the pleasure of having her there. [imdb]

Nominated for 3 Oscars:

Best Director: William Wyler
Best Actress: Samantha Eggar
Best Adapted Screenplay

Someone called it a missed opportunity. In a way, that's exactly what it is. But on the other hand, it still is a very interesting story. I didn't know about the storyline, so I was curious. The ending - booooo, not that interesting, but William Wyler is such a good director that the tension was always present, despite being a rather static film (with only 2 characters).
I bet the book is excellent, I haven't read it. But I'm quite sure the screenplay could've had more meat on the bones during the middle of the film, where there isn't much happening and even so it feels rushed at times. But then again: the legendary director William Wyler really knows what he's doing. He has a couple of scenes so strong that they really make it worth watching: the dragging through the rain and, before than, when she wakes up and he's standing by her bed, with his face in the dark looking almost monstruously.
I'll write about Samantha Eggar next week on the other blog. Though shaky at first, her performance got better and better. She has one or two scenes that knock your socks off.
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. It's mostly because of the interesting concept (and not so much the final chapter) and the great direction.


  1. As someone who's read the book but not seen the film I can tell you it's a great read, with some beautifully written prose, believeable characters and it virtually creating the torture porn genre.

    In the novel the ending feels a little rushed, although that follows with the increase of pace throughout the book, with each chapter seeming more panicky.

    The novel also introduces other characters through flashbacks in the main protagonists minds - was this cut in the film?

  2. The only flashback he has is of his aunt coming to tell him he's won all that money (and his colleagues were making fun of him a couple of minutes before).

    My best friend has also read the book a while back. She doesn't remember all of it, but we had a small discussion about an aspect of it:
    - I kind of told her how silly Miranda seemed. Imo, she didn't do all she could to try to escape; I kept saying to myself: hit him in the head with the lamp and things like that. And when she does hit him with the shovel (after realizing he'll never set her free), she did it only once!!! then she started running though it was pretty obvious he was gonna catch up. So I didn't believe that. But my friend told me than in the book she was COMPLETELY TERRIFIED and she was probably not judging that well. [a feeling you don't always get from the film, so it affects its credibility].

  3. Of course the hit him more than once comment comes from an understanding and knowingness of the genre. If you actually hit someone with a shovel would you expect them to get up, would you feel the need to hit them again.

    40 years later we know from countless Hallowe'en's that the villian will jsut get up pretty quickly after being hit however realistically they would be unlikely to so I can understand her actions. Especially as her main aim is to escape, not to get rid of the threat.