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

Director:

Writers:

(by), (by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced collegues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey
Sapphire (1959)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonweath immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig
The Servant (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The aristocratic Tony moves to London and hires the servant Hugo Barrett for all services at home. Barrett seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but Tony's girlfriend Susan does not ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The daily routine of two London policemen is interrupted by a killer.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The film, based on Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best Jazz musicians of the period - including Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Keith Michell, Betsy Blair
Accident (1967)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Oxford professor of philosophy Stephen has two favorite pupils, the athletic aristocrat William and the Austrian Anna von Graz. Stephen is a frustrated man, with a negligent wife, ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Stanley Baker, Jacqueline Sassard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two male musicians fall in love, but blackmail and scandal makes the affair take a tragic turn.

Director: Richard Oswald
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Leo Connard, Ilse von Tasso-Lind
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War I, an army private is accused of desertion during battle. The officer assigned to defend him at his court-martial finds out there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Tom Courtenay, Leo McKern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Thomas is the son of a prison warden. He falls for and seduces Martin, who is older and one of the prison inmates. After Martin is released, They try to build a relationship and a life ... See full summary »

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Ernst Hannawald, Werner Schwuchow
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman is murdered, but she is seen in different ways by different people.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Jean Kent, Dirk Bogarde, John McCallum
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Newton, Sally Gray, Phil Brown
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Vítima  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many performers refused roles in this film because of the subject matter. 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

Featured in Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks II (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Stringy Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Peacock
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
one of the greatest of gay movies
20 March 2006 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

During his lifetime Dirk Bogarde never admitted to being gay and before his death he destroyed many of his private papers. Nevertheless, his sexuality has long been an open secret and Bogarde's desire to keep his private life private had to be respected. It was, therefore, an astonishingly brave decision to take on the role of Melville Farr, the closeted gay barrister who is willing to 'come out' in order to break a blackmailing ring in Basil Dearden's pioneering thriller "Victim".

Bogarde says he chose the part because he wanted to break free of the matinée idol roles he had played up to that time but by doing so he risked alienating his fan-base. Of course, by playing Farr and subsequent roles in films like "The Servant" and "Death in Venice" it could be argued that he was vicariously acting out on screen what he was feeling in real life.

That "Victim" was made at all is as astonishing as Bogarde's decision to take the lead. This was 1961 and homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. "Victim" broke new ground by making it the central theme and by making the gay characters sympathetic, the victims of the title, and by making the law, (at least in the form of John Barrie's investigating copper), sympathetic to their plight. This was a crusading work and is today largely credited with bring about the change in the law that decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults in Great Britain.

Viewed today it is, of course, both melodramatic and didactic. At times it seems the characters aren't saying lines but making speeches. As a thriller it's reasonably exciting, (it's got sufficient red-herrings to keep us guessing), and Dearden admitted that without the thriller element the film might never have been made. (He did something similar with racism in the film "Sapphire").

"Victim" also featured a number of other gay actors in the cast, notably Dennis Price, superb as an ageing actor, and the actor/director Hilton Edwards. Whatever his motives for taking on the role, Bogarde is superb and he has at least one great scene when he finally admits his true nature to his wife, beautifully played by Sylvia Syms. There is certainly no doubt the film has dated and yet it remains one of the greatest of all gay movies.


24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD is Rare and Discontinued plasmaticswow
Question for those who have seen the movie! dimkv_gr
Looking for a screenplay or play script mjbrisbane
Airs on TCM 6/10/11 ! kcooltmc
The Victim Letters Welch57
Why "Boy"? potato2
Discuss Victim (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?