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Victim (1961)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,395 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 37 critic

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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(by), (by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Victim (1961)

Victim (1961) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Melville Farr
...
Laura
...
Calloway
Anthony Nicholls ...
Lord Fullbrook
...
Paul Mandrake
Norman Bird ...
Harold Doe
Peter McEnery ...
Barrett
Donald Churchill ...
Eddy
...
Sandy Youth
John Barrie ...
Det.Inspector Harris
John Cairney ...
Bridie
Alan MacNaughton ...
Scott Hankin (as Alan MacNaughtan)
...
Phip
Frank Pettitt ...
Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ...
Madge
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Victim  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Detective Inspector Harris: I can see you're a true puritan, Bridie. Eh?
Bridie: There's nothing wrong with that, Sir.
Detective Inspector Harris: Of course not. There was a time when that was against the law you know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Kind of Loving (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet, Op.18
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Philip Green
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A milestone in gay cinema
3 April 2004 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

"Victim" is probably the first mainstream film on either side of the Atlantic to feature a gay hero. Granted, Dirk Bogarde plays a married closet case who hasn't actually engaged in a homosexual act in many years. Nonetheless, it's fairly amazing that, given what we know about attitudes toward gay people in the 1950's that a film this affirming of gay rights could have been made in 1961. It's a movie that's much more about "gay" as an identity than it is about sexuality; it centers on a blackmail ring that includes our closeted hero, a star of the London theatre, a lonely old barber, a Rolls-Royce salesman, and others. As a group, the gay men are intermittently desperate, proud, accepting, self-loathing, and scared -- which said more to me about 1961 than it said about gay men. The title is interesting to me; it seems that the journey of Bogarde's character seems to be the road out of victimization and toward (if this isn't too corny) self-actualization. It's a mildly entertaining movie, but a fascinating historical artifact.


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