Review: The Collector

Blu-ray: The Collector (1965)

Freddie Clegg (Terence Stamp) is an ex-bank clerk who won £72,000 on the ‘pools’ (are those still a thing!?) and spends his time collecting butterflies outside of his remote countryside house.

However, all is not right in the mind of Freddie and he obsesses over Miranda Grey (Samantha Eggar), an art student whom he desperately falls in love with from afar.

Abducting her and confining her to the cellar of his house, Freddie is convinced that she will eventually fall in love with him too.

Miranda runs the full gamut of emotions as she tries to convince Freddie to let her go free, and things eventually spiral out of control as a proposed date for her to leave gets ever closer.

Essentially a 2 hour drama focused on just 2 characters, The Collector is absolutely riveting viewing thanks to the underlying sexual tension created by director William Wyler and the superb performances by both Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar.

Stamp exudes a calm, yet chilling, persona. His piercing eyes conveying the raging emotions bubbling under the surface, while his smooth and tranquil actions give a false sense of composure. Only occasionally do these emotions come to the surface, barely held in check as he battles his inner demons and the allure of his beloved Miranda.

Eggar goes through an emotional rollercoaster, as Miranda is initially scared at her situation, which then transcends into anger, disgust, pity, and finally helplessness.

You feel a deep empathy for Miranda as she tries every conceivable way to escape the nightmare that she finds herself in. Yet at the same time, despite being the antagonist, Stamp’s performance draws you into his reasoning and you can’t help but feel a little sad for him too.

Low on action, yet high in tension (especially a scene where an unexpected visitor and an overflowing bath combine to create a nail biting sequence) The Collector keeps you glued to the screen for its entire running time.

• 2K restoration
• Original mono audio
The Guardian Interview with William Wyler (1981, 83 mins): archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with Adrian Turner at London’s National Film Theatre
The Guardian Interview with Terence Stamp (1989, 92 mins): archival audio recording of the award-winning actor in conversation with Tony Sloman at the National Film Theatre
• Selected scenes commentary with author and film historian Neil Sinyard
Angel to Devil (2018, 13 mins): new and exclusive interview in which Terence Stamp remembers working with Wyler
Nothing But Death (2018, 16 mins): Award-winning actor Samantha Eggar recalls her work on the film in this new and exclusive interview
The Look of Stardom (1965, 3 mins): promotional film about the casting of Samantha Eggar
The Location Collector (2018, 8 mins): identifying the places where The Collector’s exteriors were filmed
Richard Combs on ‘The Collector’ (2018, 9 mins): a new appreciation by the renowned critic, lecturer and broadcaster
• Original theatrical trailer
• Original teaser trailers
• Image gallery: promotional photography and publicity material
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Carmen Gray, John Fowles and The Collector, a look at the making of the film, contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• UK premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

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Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.