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Victim (1961)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,482 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 40 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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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
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 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although, by the time of this movie, the British police were tending towards leniency in their treatment of homosexual offenders, it would not be until the Sexual Offences Act 1967 (citation 1967 c.60) that homosexuality between consenting males over the age of 21 was decriminalized. Even then, this established an uneven age of consent (16 for heterosexual activity), applied only to England and Wales (Scotland followed in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982) and did not apply to the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 reduced the homosexual age of consent to 18 and the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 further reduced it to 16, bringing parity with heterosexual activity. 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

Frank: Well it used to be witches. At least they don't burn you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Stringy Baby
(uncredited)
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?


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One of the most important films of the 60's. thepawnbroker
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