Collector, The (1965)

Collector, The (1965)

“I wouldn’t be a good prisoner if I didn’t try to escape.”

A deranged butterfly collector (Terence Stamp) kidnaps an art student (Samantha Eggar) he’s had a crush on for years, and keeps her locked up in his basement; will Miranda (Eggar) find a way to escape?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Cat and Mouse
  • Kidnapping
  • Obsessive Love
  • Samantha Eggar Films
  • Sociopaths
  • Terence Stamp Films
  • William Wyler Films

William Wyler’s fourth-to-last film — made before How to Steal a Million (1966), Funny Girl (1968), and The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970) — was this adaptation of John Fowles’ 1963 novel of the same name. It’s essentially a two-character thriller — a tense tale of cat-and-mouse between an insane misfit and the savvy young woman he mistakenly believes will fall in love with him if given enough time.

What’s fascinating about the storyline is how many different tactics spunky Eggar tries; in the earliest scenes we see her searching deeply into Stamp’s face as she attempts to find the one thing that will allow her to either escape or shift his mind.

Stamp is seriously menacing as a sociopath who views “collecting” Miranda the same way he does his beloved butterflies, never understanding that humans simply can’t be “caught” in the same way.

While it’s a tad overlong and becomes increasingly bleak by the end, this film is well-acted by the two leads and keeps tensions high; it’s worth a one-time look.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Samantha Eggar as Miranda
  • Terence Stamp as Freddie
  • Fine cinematography

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look. Listed as a Cult Movie and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


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