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+The Collector+ a fim first?


skimpole
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Watching The Collector last week I noticed (spoiler alert) that Terrence Stamp's character isn't actually punished for his crimes. Is this a first in Hollywood history? I remember, of course, that the murderer in Vertigo also gets off scot free.

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An interesting story, that. The British board member who was responsible for approving the movie was quite elderly and as he was viewing the movie he kept nodding off. When it ended he was awakened by the lights coming up and not wishing to admit that he hadn't been paying attention simply gruffed out "yes, fine" and passed the film.

 

The producers had been concerned that they would have to alter the ending because the abducter not only got away with the woman's death but was seen scoping out a new victim at the end. The film was well received in England by both the critics and the public so by the time the board realized what had happened it was too embarrassed to try to do anything about it.

 

I'm not making this up. I saw an interview about it on TVO's 'Saturday Night at the Movies'.

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Yes, it's the most chilling scene in the movie (which is full of chilling scenes): the last shot in *The Collector* is of Terence Stamp's character stalking a new young woman, presumably his next kidnapping selection.

 

So as darkblue points out, not only does he get away with the kidnapping and subsequent death of one woman, but he has not been stopped, and is on his way to repeating the crime with another.

 

This film was released in 1965 (the John Fowles novel it was based on came out in '63.)

I'm wondering if '65 was a turning point for film, in terms of the end of the "crime must never be shown to pay" edict in both Britain and the U.S.

 

Having said all that, it's a fascinating movie. Poor Samantha Egger.

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>misswonderly said: I'm wondering if '65 was a turning point for film, in terms of the end of the "crime must never be shown to pay" edict in both Britain and the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know about Britain or Canada, but in the United States during that time period, things where changing fast.

 

The major studios were becoming little more than distributors for independent producers. Courts had found various state and community censor boards unconstitutional and once powerful religious organizations like the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency had lost their clout.

 

As Hollywood produced less films, more theaters switched to an "art film" policy, introducing the American public to the mature, racy and sometimes more violent international films that had been denied them before. Younger and more sophisticated audiences flocked to these films and the American filmmakers quickly took notice and copied them.

 

So I don't think it was THE COLLECTOR, or just any one film for that matter, but more of a "perfect storm" of things happening about the same time that became the turning point.

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Right, mark, those are all good points and I'm in complete agreement with your take on what was happening in cinema culture at that time -everywhere.

Just a small correction - I didn't say *The Collector* itself was the one pivotal film that changed everything. It was just one of many, as you say, lots of changes were going on at that time.

What I said was, I wondered if the year 1965 was a turning point. There had been earlier films, some maybe even from the very late 50s, that tested the "code". But it seems to me that ' 65 was a year in which a lot of changes occurred. Admittedly, it's an arbitrary date.

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Possibly the first since the introduction of the Production Code.

 

Barbara Stanwyck's gangster boyfriend in the pre-Code *Night Nurse*, for example, gets away with several crimes, including the larceny of dozens of quarts of milk(!).

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