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
Donald Churchill ...
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

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Vítima  »

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

Camera shadow on the back of a patron as Barrett exits the phone/toilet room. 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 Striking, well shot and memorable film
28 October 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Set in 1950's Britain at a time when homosexuality is against the law, a top Barrister ( Dirk Bogarde) puts his career on the line to tackle the outrageous blackmail of London's homosexuals.

Impressive cast and outstanding performance by Dirk Bogarde as the troubled barrister whose anguish and pain one can see in his face throughout the film. Watching this now in the 21st century, it seems unbelievable to think that homosexuality was illegal here forty years ago. This is not to say that homophobia is not a concern now, because it still is, however there have been large strides forward for the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuals in mainstream society.

This film is an excellent historical snippet at a time of contentious laws as well as being a fine piece of art. Basil Dearden directs brilliantly and the script maintains a gripping interest throughout. In addition it was nice to see many parts of London as they were in the fifties before factories were knocked down and the hordes of yuppie apartments where built along the Thames.


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