The Collector

1965

The Collector

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,041
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Movie Info

John Fowles's novel The Collector was written in the form of a dual diary, one kept by a kidnapper, the other by his victim. The film is told almost exclusively from the point of view of the former, a nerdish British bank clerk named Freddy Clegg (Terence Stamp). A neurotic recluse whose only pleasure is butterfly collecting, Clegg wins $200,000 in the British Football Pool. He purchases a huge country estate, fixes up its cellar with all the comforts of home, then kidnaps Miranda (Samantha Eggar), an art student whom he has worshipped from afar. The demented Clegg doesn't want ransom, nor does he want to rape the girl: he simply wants to "collect" her. She isn't keen on this, and tries several times to escape. After several weeks, Clegg and Miranda grow increasingly fond of one another, and Clegg promises to let her go. When time comes for the actual release, however, Clegg decides that Miranda hasn't completely come around to his way of thinking and changes his mind, leading to a further series of unfortunate events.

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Critic Reviews for The Collector

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Collector

  • Nov 10, 2011
    "The Collector" has been remade recently with poor results, but this is the original by William Wyler and is a classic suspense film that is genuinely disturbing and frightening in a very fundamental way. The film is more or less focused on portraying one man's obsession with collecting and controlling the fate of both his butterfly collection and as of recently, a woman he has stalked for quite some time. After winning a substantial amount of money from a Football Pool, the mentally disturbed collector Freddy Clegg makes all the arraignments in his newly acquired estate to hold his latest piece for his collection. This specimen is Miranda (Samantha Eggar) who is kidnapped and taken back to the estate and locked away in a secret chamber behind a desk in an outside cellar. The problem is that there is nothing linking Freddy to the kidnapping and so there isn't much of a chance for poor Miranda who goes from trying to desperately escape to giving into Freddy's will. In the end he is hit over the head by Miranda with a shovel and must frantically run to the hospital and leaves Miranda unattended for over three days with no food or water. In the end when he finally comes back home and to Miranda's side, she dies before the doctor can make it to her. He convinces himself that it was her fault and that she got what she deserved because of her actions, not his. The film ends with him searching and finding a new less ambitious (Miranda acted sophisticated and better than Freddy which he resented) target. The film has a haunting and eerie score which fits the film rather perfectly and the acting is superb to match the Direction and screenplay of the film. This is a great and well done film that makes for a solid and disturbing suspense drama and is a fascinating look into the mind of a madman.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2011
    You could call this a love story if you wanted to, but it doesn't quite describe William Wyler's 1965 psychological thriller The Collector. It's more about learning about a man who's mind is clearly not stable, and what we find out about him later. The film builds on a tension through the eyes of the culprit and his victim and rarely moves away from that, if ever. Through dialogue and body language, we learn a lot about these two people and we're interested in seeing what becomes of them. A minor complaint would be the film's look. Despite very strong direction from Wyler, the look of the film is pretty sparse and uninteresting. It looks like a television show rather than a film, which is a shame because playing with the color palette and lighting could have been a real benefit for such a tense atmosphere. Regardless, it's still a masterwork of terrific performances and story Wyler and from both Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2011
    Terence Stamp is fantastic-- becoming monstrous yet almost sickly charming. And it's not only Stamp that brings his all, Samantha Egar is sweetly humble, and gracefully beautiful. Together these actors are nothing short of a marvelous film. William Wyler has done it again. In fact the only down fall is the time period. So much more could have been delved into had it been produced today. But, in an odd way being made in 1965 makes it more grotesque. A good must see.
    Liz < Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2011
    Sad and creepy but still very watchable thanks to the usual excellent direction of William Wyler and the accomplished playing of Samantha Eggar and especially Terence Stamp whose icy demeanor as well as his ice blue eyes have rarely matched his character so well. The ending is chilling.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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