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Villain (1971)

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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

By the time he's ready to kill you, it's an act of mercy. 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

Many critics in 1971 felt that Richard Burton was the wrong actor to play Cockney gangster Vic Dakin, and that his performance and accent were over the top. See more »

Goofs

The flowers on the hearse move from being on top of the car to the ground, as too, the position of the two policemen are not the same. See more »

Quotes

Frank Fletcher: It's not our game, is it Vic. We're playing away.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A gay British version of Cody Jarrett
8 March 2017 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Two years before Villain came out Richard Burton along with Rex Harrison went gay in a film called Staircase. But he was about as opposite a gay character as you can get in Villain.

In Staircase both Burton and Harrison play a pair of prissy old hairdressers and the film talked about the problems that aging gay men face. Here Burton is as the title says, one of the deepest and darkest of villains, a brutal man who has a hair trigger temper, who kills without the slightest compunction and dearly loves his mother Cathleen Nesbitt.

Burton has an almost pathological fear of stool pigeons, will kill you even if he has just the slightest suspicion. It's what makes him difficult for Scotland Yard Inspector Nigel Davenport to catch. But that fear can also be his biggest weakness.

One man who is in deadly fear of Burton is Ian McShane who is a bisexual hustler who if he hadn't become the object of Burton's affections would be a lot happier. But Burton is not the kind of guy you say 'no' to.

Burton who had one of the most commanding and beautiful voices in the English language managed to retain most of that beauty even slipping into some London cockney speech patterns. And he has the air about him of an unexploded nuclear bomb.

It's something different for Burton and should be worth a look.


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