Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pretty Jamie Gumm

The Collector (1965) - Wyler
A young, introverted butterfly collector (Terrence Stamp) in a secluded big house with a separate cellar, moves up his territory when he kidnaps a pretty art school student (Samantha Eggar). After begging and pleading and escape attempts, they sort of agree on their terms - he will let her go after 4 weeks, hoping she will fall in love with him.

With only two principal actors (plus one small character in the middle), this John Fowles adaptation feels more like a play. Young Stamp is intense, playing the role of creepy, shy man with chips on his shoulders. Is it sex that you want from me? Miranda the art student asks him. No. He wants to respect her as a proper woman.

There is a big confrontation over Catcher in the Rye. Their class differences are highlighted and the gap between them is obviously too wide. The film suffers from Fowles passive aggressiveness of the characters and their shallow psychological makeup. Stamp is effectively creepy but the film doesn't quite escape from its Stockholm Syndrome/captive drama mold.


  1. Thanks for replying about YMDb.
    Ms Eggars has aged well. I see her from time to time in a group setting. She's very nice and her voice and look is still the same. Check out "The Walking Stick". I enjoyed this film also. You right, Stamp is in the Andy Robinson league in this one. I think David Hemmings was in "The Walking Stick".

  2. You are watching all the youthful roles of great British actors that I have been wanting to see.

  3. I absolutely adore this film and the very fine novel it's adapted from. Stamp and Eggar are both SO GOOD at playing together as two disconnected people. I'd highly recommend reading the book as well, it alternates narratives so that half is narrated by Frederick--and it's chilling--and the other half is Miranda's diary. Excellent read.

    Also, I love the other tagline that I usually see on posters for this film: Almost a love story. It's a perfect and horrifying description.

  4. Thanks for your comment. Only Fowler book I've read is Magnus, when I was in college. I'm going to take up Collector just because your suggestion.