6.8/10
863
41 user 14 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong, when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of fascists plan to finance their work by pulling off a bank robbery.

Director: Francis Megahy
Stars: Ian McShane, Warren Clarke, Stephen Greif
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After an enigmatic, self-described pathologist rents the attic room of a Victorian house, his landlady begins to suspect her lodger is Jack the Ripper.

Director: Hugo Fregonese
Stars: Jack Palance, Constance Smith, Byron Palmer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure
Quartet (1948)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the... See full summary »

Directors: Ken Annakin, Arthur Crabtree, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Ian Fleming
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After a failed bank robbery the getaway driver flees to the Devon countryside and the farm of his uncle.

Director: Roy Kellino
Stars: Peter Reynolds, Patrick Holt, Lawrence O'Madden
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Britain, at the dawn of jet-powered commercial aviation, an aircraft manufacturer tries to shift the blame from mechanical failure to pilot error when its newest jet airliner has a series of accidents.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Michael Craig, Peter Cushing, Bernard Lee
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a group of northern soccer fans are down in London for the Cup Final one of their number winds up with a lady of the night. As they talk, the unsophisticated and naive lad starts to ... See full summary »

Director: Muriel Box
Stars: Harry H. Corbett, Diane Cilento, Thora Hird
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan
Freelance (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small time London con-artist (McShane) witnesses a gangland hit. Determined to carry out his schemes, he must do so while avoiding the same hitman.

Director: Francis Megahy
Stars: Ian McShane, Gayle Hunnicutt, Keith Barron
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On a routine flight from Hong-Kong to Japan, a British military transport aircraft's fate may or may not depend on a prophetic nightmare.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Sheila Sim, Alexander Knox
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Broadway star Valerie Stanton, breaking up with her producer-lover Gordon Dunning, unintentionally kills him. In flashback, she recalls meeting new flame Michael Morrell, and Dunning's ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gage
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Leo Genn, Claire Trevor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Frank Fletcher (as T. P. McKenna)
...
...
Mrs. Dakin
Elizabeth Knight ...
Patti
...
Tony Selby ...
...
Del Henney ...
Ben Howard ...
...
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:

You are looking at the face of a Villain. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Burden of Proof  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The pub scenes were filmed in The Assembly House pub in Kentish Town. In between takes Elizabeth Taylor was known to pull pints for the cast and crew. See more »

Goofs

There is a clear overdub when Wolfe and Venetia arrive at the country house for the party. As they are walking up the drive they both survey the front of the mansion. Wolfe describes the house as, "fit for a king". Venetia responds, "I bet the bathrooms are freezing", but if you watch her mouth movements closely, she actually completes Wolfe's sentence with the phrase , "or queen" . See more »

Quotes

Venetia: Who's she?
Wolfe Lissner: Sssh. It's his gaffe. Only a marquis, isn't he. Influencing friends and making people.
See more »

Connections

Featured in From Burton to Baker (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Villain. Better Than Get Carter Shock?!!
3 September 2002 | by 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!


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Who's Your Celebrity Counterpart?

"The IMDb Show" finds out who your celebrity doppelgangers are. Plus, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounts the moment his movie was mistakenly awarded an Oscar.

Watch now