The Collector (1965)
This British psychological thriller, about a young social misfit (Stamp) who captures and collects first butterflies and then the local girl he wants to become the love of his life (Eggar), had several controversial elements about it at the time of release in 1965, few of which prevail today. The film is directed by veteran movie maestro William Wyler, and although it isn't satisfactory on all levels, it remains a continuously interesting study of a deranged but sympathetic captor and his increasingly wavering captive. The psychological profiling and power struggle is what's at the center of Wyler's attention, and this is also where The Collector is at its most valuable, largely thanks to the performances by the two leads. The film is slow, elongated and spatially restricted, and Wyler's constantly scrutinizing camera gives the performers a tough job, but they are both able to go deep into the psyche of their characters - too such a degree even, that we forget about their beautiful exterior and accept them as the poor souls they've become. Stamp is particularly good, applying the perfect amount of spite, reservedness and class to his role. Except for a hint of melodrama in one or two crucial scenes, the film remains a thematic relevant study of a sex criminal both fuelled and hampered by the sexually repressive society he was brought up in.