7.7/10
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Victim (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 October 1961 (Denmark)
The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against several gay men in 1960s London.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Janet Green (by), John McCormick (by) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Melville Farr
Sylvia Syms ... Laura Farr
Dennis Price ... Calloway
Anthony Nicholls ... Lord Fullbrook
Peter Copley ... Paul Mandrake
Norman Bird ... Harold Doe
Peter McEnery ... Jack Barrett
Donald Churchill ... Eddy Stone
Derren Nesbitt ... Sandy Youth
John Barrie ... Det. Inspector Harris
John Cairney ... Bridie
Alan MacNaughtan ... Scott Hankin
Nigel Stock ... Phip
Frank Pettitt Frank Pettitt ... Barman (as Frank Pettit)
Mavis Villiers ... Madge
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Storyline

A plea for reform of England's anti-sodomy statutes, Melville Farr (Sir Dirk Bogarde), a married lawyer, tries to locate a blackmailer who has photos of Farr and a crying 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 blackmail scheme. Worldly Police Detective Inspector Harris (John Barrie) considers the anti-sodomy law nothing more than a license to blackmailers, and eventually is contacted by Farr to capture the malicious blackmailer. The movie, far ahead of its time, ends with Farr and his loving wife coming to terms with his homosexual tendencies in advance of the public exposure he will face in the team of blackmailers' trial. Written by Mike Mills <mills@colorado.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are You Adult Enough to See 'Victim"? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1961 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Teufelskreis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP153,756 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,962
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-censored) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous scene where Melville Farr (Sir Dirk Bogarde) (having been confronted by his wife Laura (Sylvia Syms) about Barrett (Peter McEnery)) finally admits to her that he "wanted him", was added at 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. It's worth noting that Bogarde was gay, and considered this movie an extremely personal project. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow moves onto Madge's coat as it pushes in closer from behind after Eddy leaves the bar. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Well it used to be witches. At least they don't burn you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Stringy Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Trevor Peacock
See more »

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User Reviews

Ground-breaking movie
3 February 2004 | by deano-10See all my reviews

It would be easy to view this movie as nothing more than a somewhat dated film. However, for it's time, this movie was ground-breaking, for any number of reasons, including its superb acting. Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms, in particular, were perfect in their parts.

What many don't realize is that this movie is credited with helping to decriminalize homosexuality in Britain. When "Victim" was released, it started a nationwide discussion about homosexuality and associated blackmail. At the time, approximately 90% of all blackmail cases involved homosexuals, and Bogarde's character was a classic example of a blackmail "victim". The point of the movie wasn't that all homosexuals were victims, but they could only be victims so long as the law permitted it. The blackmail wasn't merely because they were homosexual, but due to the harsh prison sentences a homosexual could (and often did) receive. How often does a movie get the opportunity to help create such a profound change in society?


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