The Collector is a 1963 thriller novel by English author John Fowles, in his literary debut. Its plot follows a lonely, psychotic young man who kidnaps a female art student in London and holds her captive in the cellar of his rural farmhouse. Divided in two sections, the novel contains both the perspective of the captor, Frederick, as well as that of Miranda, the captive. The portion of the novel told from Miranda’s perspective is presented in epistolary form.
The Collector premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1965, where both Stamp and Eggar won the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively. Upon its theatrical release in June 1965, the film received largely favorable reviews. Eggar won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her performance, and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, while Wyler received a nomination for Best Director. It was the last of Wyler’s record 12 Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time.