Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vic Dakin
...
...
Bob Matthews
...
Gerald Draycott
...
Venetia
...
Frank Fletcher
...
Edgar Lowis
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Mrs. Dakin
Elizabeth Knight ...
Patti
...
Tom Binney
Tony Selby ...
Duncan
John Hallam ...
Terry
Del Henney ...
Webb
Ben Howard ...
Henry
James Cossins ...
Brown
Edit

Storyline

Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his criminal empire. The brutal Vic cuts the throat of one bloke who has been a little too loose-lipped, afraid that his gossiping may turn into a grand operatic performance for the coppers. Vic, who enjoys playing at rough trade with his sidekick Wolfe, plans a payroll robbery and directs the blackmailing of Members of Parliament with a taste for unorthodox sex. Scotland Yard Police Inspector Matthews, playing Javert to Vic's Jean Valjean, is moving in on him and the gang. Gang-member Edgar is hospitalized for an ulcer, and Inspector Matthews might be able to make him sing. Will Edgar spill the beans to the coppers before Vic can silence him? Written by Jon C. Hopwood

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Vic Dakin. Then wish you hadn't. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Burden of Proof  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sex scene between Richard Burton and Ian McShane was cut from the original theatrical release. See more »

Goofs

The is a clear overdub in the scene where Wolf and Veneita arrive at the country house for the party. As they are walking up the drive they both survey the front of the mansion. Wolf describes the the house as, "fit for a king". Ventia responds, "I bet the bathrooms are freezing". But if you watch her mouth movements closely she is actually completes Wolf's sentence with phrase , "or Queen" . See more »

Quotes

Vic Dakin: Boxed in and buggered! What is it?
Frank Fletcher: Toys, Vic, just toys!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dame Edna Treatment: Episode #1.5 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Villain. Better Than Get Carter Shock?!!
3 September 2002 | by (Devon, England) – See all my reviews

Villain was one of those films I vaguely remember seeing as a youngster in the Seventies. An 'after News At Ten' film on my very first black and white portable, knowing that it was just the sort of film a ten year old should not be watching. What I always remembered was the powerful ending with Burton screaming into the camera 'Who are you looking at?' Catching up with the film in later years I found that it was the very atmosphere that made it so memorable. Always compared with Get Carter (another favourite) I found that Villain seemed to enjoy higher production values whilst still maintaining the seedy underbelly of Seventies London life. I have often read that this 'seedy' tag has proved to be a turn off for some reviewers, but if you read the excellent James Barlow novel that the film was adapted from, you would see that Villain, the actors and in particular, Burton are very faithful to the text. Vic Dakin is a terrifying monster and although the cockney accent does seem strange at first, repeat viewings reveal a truly compelling character study. OK, so he was supposed to be on two bottles of vodka a day back then, but by God does he look like a real hard bastard?! The use of the grim locations, the lavish but contemporary score, the supporting cast and the realism of such scenes as the powerful wages snatch (still bloody violent by today's standards!) and the final confrontation, all combine to make a totally compelling film. Personally, it is a real favourite and for anyone in their thirties, it is also a slice of Seventies social comment stuffed full of great British character turns and a tough, realistic gangster thriller. Criminally underrated, hard to find on video and no DVD as such. Try to catch it one night, just after News At Ten!


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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