Blu-Ray Review: The Collector

Whilst his name may not be as familiar today as some of his contemporaries, there’s absolutely no doubt that you’ll know many of William Wyler’s films. Whether it’s a blockbuster (Ben-Hur), romance (Roman Holiday), drama (The Best Years of our Lives), musical comedy (Funny Girl) or Western (The Big Country). In his 1965 film The Collector he tackled John Fowles’ novel of the same name; winning one of his twelve nominations for Best Director at the Academy Awards.

Frederick Clegg (Terence Stamp) is a lonely, uneducated bank clerk who collects butterflies as a hobby. When he wins big on the pools he buys an old rural mansion and decides to expand his collection. After stalking her movements, he kidnaps a pretty art student, Miranda Grey (Samantha Eggar), who he’s become obsessed with. Freddie keeps her locked in a furnished cellar, hoping to persuade her to fall in love with him. Miranda has other ideas and is desperate to escape.

The Collector is a tense drama which benefits from a clever screenplay by Stanley Mann and John Kohn. They take Fowles’ book and adapt it in a way which keeps you guessing and on edge throughout. Stamp adds to this confusion with a subtly unhinged and perpetually turbulent performance. There’s malice there, but it’s cold and unpredictable. With a touch of the Hitchcockian about it, The Collector is a fraught and compelling psychological thriller.

Indicator Limited Edition Special Features:

• 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

The Collector is released on Blu-ray by Powerhouse Films as part of their Indicator Series on 24 September.

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