This film is part of Free
As Seen through a Telescope
A peeping Tom gets a shocking glimpse of stocking in this early take on film voyeurism.
Hitchcock wasn't the first to explore film voyeurism. This skit by the inventive GA Smith has some 'What the Butler saw'-type fun with the old scenario of the peeping Tom caught spying on a young couple. Crucially, though, the film allows the audience to enjoy his view - without the guilt. Even in late-Victorian England, however, there was nothing too shocking about an illicit glimpse of stocking, so Smith spices up the scene by showing the young man slyly stroking his ladyfriend's ankle.
The circular vignette used to represent the view through the lens would soon to become a cinematic cliché; Smith used the same trick in the more elaborate Granny's Reading Glass, released at the same time.