After winning a football lottery, obsessive butterfly collector Freddy Clegg (Stamp) buys a country manor and outfits the cellar with all the accoutrements of home. Then he kidnaps Miranda (Eggar), an art student he has admired from a distance, and installs her there, with no twisted designs apart from keeping this treasured new specimen in his private collection. Soon a strange intimacy develops between them...
Based on the novel by John Fowles, Wyler’s quietly chilling tale of a bank clerk whose quaint butterfly-collecting habit takes a sinister turn features a cunning performance by Stamp, who’d previously earned an Oscar nod for “Billy Budd.” Instead of shocks, Wyler coaxes a subtle, haunting psychological intimacy between Stamp and Eggar, who received a Best Actress nomination for her turn as the wide-eyed Londoner pinned to a basement room. An examination of alienated desire and unfulfilled longing, “The Collector” puts a whole new spin on obsession.