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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Melville Farr
...
Laura
...
Calloway
...
Lord Fullbrook
...
Paul Mandrake
...
Harold Doe
...
Barrett
...
Eddy
...
Sandy Youth
...
Det.Inspector Harris
John Cairney ...
Bridie
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Scott Hankin
...
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 | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Teufelskreis  »

Box Office

Budget:

£153,756 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous scene where Melville Farr (having been confronted by his wife about Barrett) finally admits to her that he "wanted him", was added at Dirk Bogarde's request and was partially written by him. Bogarde states in his autobiography that he felt the screenplay lacked credibility because it was too ambiguous and did not adequately explain Farr's involvement with Barrett, and skirted around the issue. See more »

Goofs

When the taxi leaves to take the blackmailer back to base to count the loot, the next shot shows the watching policemen about to give chase, with the same taxi parked on the street behind them. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Long Stringy Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Peacock
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User Reviews

 
Engrossing, intriguing drama
30 June 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Straightforward, non-sensationalized British film, an original from screenwriters Janet Green and John McCormick, has a ring of blackmailers taking advantage of the laws prohibiting homosexuality in England and threatening to 'out' certain parties if they don't pay up; after one victim commits suicide, a former friend--and married lawyer--decides to play detective and expose the blackmailers, at the risk of ruining his own career and marriage. Dirk Bogarde is excellent in the lead; his grimace of both humility and humiliation is rather touching, and very human. The victims are the usual lot (an actor, a hairdresser, etc.), but the film is exceptionally engrossing and well-made, neatly camouflaging its plea for tolerance under the guise of a suspense drama (and the denouement is nicely staged). Director Basil Dearden includes a few intentionally sardonic visuals, and he isn't afraid to knock down walls (though any male-to-male intimacy stays off-screen). Still, a watermark for gay cinema. *** from ****


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