Peeping Tom, 1960


Michael Powell


visit the film locations

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

Newman Arms, 23 Rathbone Street, W1, in the heart of Fitzrovia. The pub is closed at weekends (tel: 020.7636.1127) (tube: Goodge Street, Northern Line, or Tottenham Court Road, Northern and Central Lines)


Fitzrovia, named after artsy hangout the Fitzroy Tavern, has a long history as a raffish, literary and artistic enclave. Films shot in the area include the Beatles' first movie A Hard Day's Night (the old Scala Theatre has since been demolished), Mike Leigh's Naked (the 'post-modernist gas chamber') and romantic comedy Sliding Doors (Gwyneth Paltrow works in Bertorelli's Restaurant on Charlotte Street)

Peeping Tom location: Newman Passage, alongside Newman Arms, Rathbone Street, London W1

Peeping Tom location: The first murder: Newman Passage, alongside Newman Arms, Rathbone Street, London W1

Reviled on release, Michael Powell’s disturbing, London-set serial killer movie is now rightly lauded as one of the great British films. The unprecedented critical hammering (the hysterical over-reaction has to be read to be believed) virtually ended the career of Michael Powell, until his reputation was restored by Martin Scorsese’s enthusiastic championing.

Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm), the disturbed son of a sadistic film-maker, has a fear fixation and a lethal movie camera, which he uses to kill women while filming their reaction to their own deaths. Like I said, disturbing.

Mark Lewis’s house stood at 5 Melbury Road, off High Street Kensington near Holland Park. Although its neighbour, number 7, still stands, number 5 was demolished to make way for a block of anonymously glum flats.

Peeping Tom location: 8 Melbury Road, Holland Park, London

Peeping Tom location: The home movies: Director Michael Powell's house, 8 Melbury Road, Holland Park, London

Director Powell brings a creepy self-involvement to the film. He not only plays Mark's sadistically obsessed father, who wields the camera in the film's ‘home movie’ scenes, but used the garden of his own home for this footage. The house stands unchanged at 8 Melbury Road, an impressive Norman Shaw Victorian artist’s property with enormous windows – just across the street from the site of the killer’s house.

Mark’s first victim, Dora (Brenda Bruce), is picked up in Newman Passage, just off Oxford Street, W1, and takes the killer up to her room above the Newman Arms, 23 Rathbone Street alongside. After remaining virtually unchanged since filming, the exterior of the pub has recently been given a bright, new – and horrible – repaint.

Peeping Tom location: Caffe V, Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1

Peeping Tom location: Furtive photos at the newsagent: now Caffe V, Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1

The newsagent, where apparently respectable gent Miles Malleson (whom you might recognise as the Caliph in a much lighter Michael Powell classic, The Thief of Baghdad) buys The Times and The Telegraph – plus a selection of adult photographs for five shillings each – and above which Mark Lewis has his studio, is now a restaurant, Caffe V, 29 Rathbone Place at the southwest corner of Percy Street.

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