IMDb > Victim (1961)
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Victim (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Janet Green (by) and
John McCormick (by) ...
View company contact information for Victim on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 October 1961 (Denmark) See more »
A Daring Picture About the World's Most Un-talked About Subject.
A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure (homosexual acts still being illegal). But he's gay himself... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
one of the greatest of gay movies See more (48 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dirk Bogarde ... Melville Farr

Sylvia Syms ... Laura

Dennis Price ... Calloway
Anthony Nicholls ... Lord Fullbrook

Peter Copley ... Paul Mandrake
Norman Bird ... Harold Doe
Peter McEnery ... Barrett
Donald Churchill ... Eddy

Derren Nesbitt ... Sandy Youth
John Barrie ... Det.Inspector Harris
John Cairney ... Bridie
Alan MacNaughton ... Scott Hankin (as Alan MacNaughtan)

Nigel Stock ... Phip
Frank Pettitt ... Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ... Madge
Charles Lloyd Pack ... Henry
Hilton Edwards ... P.H.
David Evans ... Mickey
Noel Howlett ... Patterson
Margaret Diamond ... Miss Benham

Alan Howard ... Frank
Dawn Beret ... Sylvie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Bennett ... Undercover Detective (uncredited)
John Boxer ... Policeman in Cell (uncredited)

Frank Thornton ... George - Henry's Assistant (uncredited)

Directed by
Basil Dearden 
Writing credits
Janet Green (by) and
John McCormick (by)

Janet Green (screenplay) and
John McCormick (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael Relph .... producer
Basil Dearden .... co-producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Philip Green 
Cinematography by
Otto Heller (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John D. Guthridge 
Art Direction by
Alex Vetchinsky 
Makeup Department
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
Barbara Ritchie .... hairdresser
Production Management
Denis Holt .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bert Batt .... assistant director
Art Department
Vernon Dixon .... set dresser
Sound Department
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
C.C. Stevens .... sound recordist
Les Wiggins .... sound editor (as Leslie Wiggins)
Camera and Electrical Department
H.A.R. Thomson .... camera operator
George Courtney Ward .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Philip Green .... conductor
Other crew
Joan Davis .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min | 100 min (pre-censored version) | 96 min (video version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:K-16 | Portugal:17 (1974) | Portugal:(Banned) (original rating) (1962) | UK:X (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:12 (video re-rating) (2004) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) | West Germany:18 (bw)

Did You Know?

Due to the film's subject matter the BBFC studied the script before official submission and several lines of anti-homosexual dialogue were removed. Eventually John Trevelyan agreed to pass the film after cuts to 4 lines of dialogue including Melville Farr's confession to his wife of his homosexual urges ("Because I wanted him. I WANTED him!"). Surprisingly 3 of these were rescinded upon appeal, including Farr's legendary admission, and the only cut made to the film was the removal of a line of dialogue referring to an adolescent boy 'making the wrong choice'.See more »
Boom mic visible: 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 »
Frank:Well it used to be witches. At least they don't burn you.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Kind of Loving (1962)See more »
Long Stringy BabySee more »


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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
one of the greatest of gay movies, 20 March 2006
Author: Martin Bradley ( from Derry, Ireland

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.

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One of the most important films of the 60's. thepawnbroker
Why "Boy"? potato2
DVD is Rare and Discontinued plasmaticswow
Which actors and actresses refused to play in 'Victim'? ganglehog
Question for those who have seen the movie! dimkv_gr
Airs on TCM 6/10/11 ! kcooltmc
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