One of the great films about film (and, to a lesser extent, the horrible effects psychiatric fads have upon their subjects, and society at large.)
Obit doesn’t mention that he ran off with director Powell’s wife, which I seem to recall reading somewhere. Will have to double check.
(Some will dispute whether or not Peeping Tom “ended Powell’s career,“ a line that’s appearing in all the obits. It certainly is bizarre that this film, released just months apart from Psycho, was so reviled while Hitchcock’s film was a smash hit. Peeping Tom was rescued from relative obscurity in the 1980s by Martin Scorsese — and his long-time editor, who was also Powell’s wife. Peeping Tom is in my “personal-mythology” Top 10.)
Anyway, one of the great decisions Powell made was to leave Bohm’s obvious German accent unexplained. Few writer/directors would have the guts; it’s a brave, bizarre choice that adds to the film’s strangeness.
Bohm gave up acting for humanitarian work:
Mr. Böhm founded Menschen für Menschen after making a trip to Ethiopia and, as he described it, experiencing an epiphany: that with people starving, filmmaking could wait.
“If you think how many lives you could save,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoted him as saying, “a single one is more important than the greatest success you could ever have on a stage.”
Menschen für Menschen has raised money for emergency aid, including famine relief; for improvements in agriculture, water supplies, education and medical care, and for efforts to abolish female genital mutilation, a tradition in some cultures.
Fascinating background on the Peeping Tom screenwriter, from the comments — do read the whole thing:
Peeping Tom was written by Leo Marks. Marks used to live at the bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road his father being the manager there.
In the late Thirties the young teenager Marks used to set crosswords for the Times and after the commencement of WW2 had an interview at Bletchley Park with a view to joining the code breaking teams. He failed the interview after being branded “a loose cannon” because he solved the trial code meant to frustrate the interview sitter for days in a couple of hours. The amazed interviewing board concluded that although showing promise his methods lacked discipline and that Marks was able to break the code only by making intuitive jumps instead of the proscribed lengthy elimination processes then in vogue. Instead Marks was spotted and enrolled by the fledgling SOE dirty tricks department. Subsequently Marks was said to be “the one that got away” by the Bletchley Park codebreakers.