The Collector


The Collector has been adapted as film and a dramatic play. , including film and theatre. The Collector also is referred to in various songs, television episodes, and books.

Film version

The novel was adapted as a feature film by the same name in 1965. The screenplay was by Stanley Mann and John Kohn, and it was directed by William Wyler. (He turned down The Sound of Music to do it). It starred Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar.

Theatre versions

  • A stage version of the novel (written by John Fowles) was performed in London in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Marianne Faithfull starred as Miranda. It was poorly received by the critics.
  • It has also been performed at the Camden's People Theatre.[2]
  • Another adaption was written by Mark Healy and first performed at Derby Playhouse in October 1998.
  • Mark Healy's adaptation was also performed at the 'Arcola Theatre' in Hackney, London from 26 August to 20 September 2008.
  • The play was also performed at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe by 'Vivid Theatre Company.'
  • Blink. Theatre will produce the play at The Space from 3rd-14th March 2015.


  • "The Collector", a song inspired by the novel, was written by Sonny Curtis. It was recorded by The Everly Brothers in 1966 and included on their album Two Yanks in England. The song was also recorded by 'The No. 1' band in 1967 on Kapp records (K824/K-10643) b/w "Cracks in the Sidewalk" (Kapp K824/K-10644).
  • The song "The Butterfly Collector" by The Jam (the B-Side of the 1979 single "Strange Town") was said to be inspired by the book. It was about Soo Catwoman who, upon the implosion of the Sex Pistols, attempted to become part of The Jam's entourage.
  • The song "Purity" by metal band Slipknot has lyrics related to the novel.
  • The song "Prosthetics" by Slipknot recount a story similar to that in the novel.
  • The song "The Collector" by Russian band Deadushki has lyrics related to the novel.
  • The Smiths song "Half A Person" is thought to be titled after the quote, "Caliban is half a person at the best of times."
  • The song "International Rock Star" by the Canadian band Stars is loosely related to the plot of the book and features soundbites from the film.
  • The song "The Man Who Stole A Leopard" by British band Duran Duran (All You Need Is Now album) was inspired by the movie, according to the keyboardist Nick Rhodes.
  • The song "Index" by UK artist Steven Wilson (album Grace For Drowning Kscope 2011) was inspired by the novel.
  • The song "Chastity" by pop-rock group The Raves (album Past Perfect Tense Hologramophone 1992) has lyrics related to the novel.


The basic plot of The Collector: a lonely maladjusted person kidnapping the object of his or her desire, has become a standard plot device of a number of TV shows, ranging from soap operas to crime series. Some more explicit references to John Fowles' book are:

  • In the Criminal Minds two-part episode, "The Fisher King", a kidnapper uses a copy of The Collector to send a coded message to the Behavioral Analysis Unit.[3]
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, "Treehouse of Horror X", Comic Book Guy uses the supervillain persona "The Collector" and kidnaps Lucy Lawless from a comic book convention.[4]

Books and comics

  • In the book The Dark Tower by Stephen King, Finli O'Tego, also known as The Weasel, reads The Collector. Later Finli noticed another character, Dinky, reading Fowles' The Magus.
  • In the book Misery by Stephen King, the character Paul Sheldon compares his situation to that in Fowles' novel. A quote from The Collector prefaces part three.
  • In Neil Gaiman's comic The Doll's House, there is a reference to The Collector. "Collectors" episode is about a convention of serial killers who watch the film and discuss it in terms of themselves.

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