A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure (homosexual acts still being illegal). But he's gay himself...



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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melville Farr
Lord Fullbrook
Paul Mandrake
Harold Doe
Donald Churchill ...
Sandy Youth
Det.Inspector Harris
John Cairney ...
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Scott Hankin
Frank Pettitt ...
Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ...


A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, this film pits Melville Farr, a married lawyer, against a blackmailer who has photos of Farr and a young gay man (who is being blackmailed and later commits suicide) in Farr's car. After the suicide, Farr tracks down other gay men being extorted for money by the same blackmailer. The well-educated police Detective Inspector Harris considers the sodomy law nothing more than an aid to blackmailers, and helps Farr in calling his blackmailer's bluff. The movie, far ahead of its time, ends with Farr and his wife coming to terms with his homosexuality after the public exposure he faces in the blackmailer's trial. Written by Mike Mills <mills@colorado.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Daring Picture About the World's Most Un-talked About Subject.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Vítima  »

Box Office


£153,756 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The word "queer" is used in two contexts in this movie. Firstly in "Queer Street" meaning to be in difficulties, particularly financial. Secondly in the whitewash daub on the garage door "FARR IS QUEER" meaning he is gay. See more »


When Melville is stood outside the Counsel & Clerks office, the shadow of the boom microphone is visible beside the sign, on the wall behind him. See more »


Detective Inspector Harris: Someone once called this law against homosexuality the blackmailer's charter.
Melville Farr: Is that how you feel about it?
Detective Inspector Harris: I'm a policeman, sir. I don't have feelings.
See more »


Featured in Homo Promo (1993) See more »


Long Stringy Baby
Written by Trevor Peacock
See more »

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User Reviews

Ground-breaking movie
3 February 2004 | by (El Cerrito, CA) – See all my reviews

It would be easy to view this movie as nothing more than a somewhat dated film. However, for it's time, this movie was ground-breaking, for any number of reasons, including its superb acting. Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms, in particular, were perfect in their parts.

What many don't realize is that this movie is credited with helping to decriminalize homosexuality in Britain. When "Victim" was released, it started a nationwide discussion about homosexuality and associated blackmail. At the time, approximately 90% of all blackmail cases involved homosexuals, and Bogarde's character was a classic example of a blackmail "victim". The point of the movie wasn't that all homosexuals were victims, but they could only be victims so long as the law permitted it. The blackmail wasn't merely because they were homosexual, but due to the harsh prison sentences a homosexual could (and often did) receive. How often does a movie get the opportunity to help create such a profound change in society?

63 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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